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The surname Kilkenny comes from the Irish Mac Giolla Chainnigh, meaning the son of a servant or devotee of St. Canice, also known as St. Kenny. The place name Kilkenny, is also derived from the saint; in Irish it is Cill Chainnigh, meaning the church of St. Canice.

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The surname Kilkenny was first found in County Derry, where the sept was of the Cenel Eoghain group. The St. Canice branch of whom they were originally followers, came from Dromachose, County Derry. One of the earliest records of the name is of David de Kilkenny, who was Bishop of Achonry, County Sligo (1312 to 1344.) Ironically the name is not taken from the town in Leinster or the county named Kilkenny. References to the surname were rare throughout history. [1]

Spelling variations of this family name include: Kilkenny, MacKilkenny, MacElhinny, MacElheeny, MacIlhenny and many more.


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Kilkenny Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kilkenny research. Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1690 and 1866 are included under the topic Early Kilkenny History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Kilkenny Early Notables



Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kilkenny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kilkenny Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Edward Kilkenny, who was listed as a British Alien in New York during the War of 1812
  • Timothy Kilkenny, who was also listed as a British Alien during the War of 1812
  • Timothy Kilkenny, aged 31, landed in South Carolina in 1812
  • Edward Kilkenny, who landed in New York, NY in 1817
  • P. Kilkenny, who arrived in New York in 1823


Kilkenny Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Bridget Kilkenny, aged 17, who landed in America from Athlone, Ireland, in 1906
  • Annie Kilkenny, aged 24, who emigrated to America from Kilkelly, Ireland, in 1908
  • Bridget Kilkenny, aged 19, who settled in America from Ballymacward, Ireland, in 1910
  • Annie Kilkenny, aged 32, who settled in America from Ballyhaunes, Ireland, in 1911
  • Annie Kilkenny, aged 17, who emigrated to the United States from Ballyhaunis, Ireland, in 1912


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  • Patric Kilkenny, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Mt. Kisco, New York, 2013
  • Jane Kilkenny (b. 1963), American special effects specialist, known for her work on The Day after Tomorrow (2004), Spiderman (2002) and others
  • John Kilkenny, Executive Vice President at Twentieth Century Fox who oversaw the Academy Award winning effects on Avatar
  • Krist Kilkenny, two-time Daytime Emmy nominated editor for her work on Between the Lions (1999)
  • John Francis Kilkenny (1901-1995), United States federal judge
  • Tony Kilkenny (b. 1959), Irish retired sportsperson
  • Greg Kilkenny (b. 1983), Irish soccer player
  • Orla Kilkenny, Irish camogie player
  • Niamh Kilkenny, Irish camogie player
  • Ollie Kilkenny (b. 1962), retired Irish sportsperson

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  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)

Other References

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  10. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 15 December 2015 at 00:04.

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