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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish Rooney family come from? What is the Irish Rooney family crest and coat of arms? When did the Rooney family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Rooney family history?

Irish surnames are all based on the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name Rooney is O Ruanaidh.

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Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Rooney were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. O'Rooney, Rooney, Roony, Roonay, Roney and others.

First found in County Down (Irish:An Dún) part of the Province of Ulster, in Northern Ireland, formerly known as county St Mirren.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rooney research. Another 265 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1079 and 1288 are included under the topic Early Rooney History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Rooney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Rooney or a variant listed above, including:

Rooney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Edward Rooney, aged 30, arrived in Norfolk, Va in 1803
  • Brian Rooney, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811
  • John Rooney, who arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811
  • Paul Rooney, who arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811
  • Lawrence Rooney, aged 40, landed in New York in 1812


Rooney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Hugh Rooney, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Neptune" in 1833
  • Bryan Rooney, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Mary Rooney, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Edward Rooney, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Nicholas Rooney, aged 21, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834


Rooney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Rooney, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Owen Rooney, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Mary Rooney arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849
  • Ellen Rooney, aged 18, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo"
  • Mary Rooney, aged 24, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"


Rooney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Annie Rooney, aged 14, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
  • Jane Rooney, aged 21, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
  • Teresa Rooney, aged 22, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878

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  • Andy Rooney (1919-2011), noted journalist and commentator for CBS best known for his commentary on the show "60 minutes"
  • Art Rooney (1909-1988), American founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Francis Rooney (b. 1953), former American Ambassador to the Holy See
  • John J. Rooney (1903-1975), American Democratic politician from New York
  • Mickey Rooney (1920-2014), born Joseph Yule Jr., American Juvenile Academy Award, Honorary Academy Award, two-time Golden Globe and an Emmy Award winning film actor and entertainer
  • John Rooney (b. 1954), American radio sportscaster for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • John E. "Jack" Rooney (d. 2011), American businessman, President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Cellular
  • Sean Michael Rooney (b. 1982), American two-time gold and silver medalist volleyball player
  • Miss Mary Rooney (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from Brooklyn, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Adam Rooney (b. 1988), Irish footballer

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  1. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  5. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  10. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  11. ...

The Rooney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rooney Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 May 2015 at 05:46.

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