Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name O'hennessy originally appeared in Gaelic as O hAonghusa, which means "descendant of Angus."
Early Origins of the O'hennessy family
The surname O'hennessy was first found in County Offaly
(Irish: Uíbh Fháilí) originally the Kingdom of Uí Failghe, located in central Ireland
in the Province of Leinster
, where they held a family seat
from very ancient times.
Early History of the O'hennessy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'hennessy research.Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'hennessy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'hennessy Spelling Variations
Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname O'hennessy are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Hennessey, Henasey, Henasay, Henchy, Henchey, Henchie, Hinchy, Hinchey, Hinchie, Henesey, Henessy, Henesy, Hennesey and many more.
Early Notables of the O'hennessy family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the O'hennessy family to the New World and Oceana
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families
for the distant shores of North America and Australia
. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England
. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence
. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland
at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the O'hennessy family relocated to North American shores quite early: William Hennesey who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1874; Edmund, Edward, James, Michael, Patrick and Robert Hennessey settled in Philadelphia between 1850 and 1870.