Carny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Carny has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. Generally, the original Gaelic form of the name Carny is said to be O Cearnaigh, from the word "cearnach," which means "victorious." However, in some instances, especially the roots of the present day spelling of Kearney, the surname derives from the Gaelic "O Catharnaigh," meaning "warlike."

Early Origins of the Carny family

The surname Carny was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from ancient times and were a branch of the Ui Fiachrach.

The MacCarney (McCarney) variant is "Mac Cearnaigh and the family was originally seated at Ballymacarney, Co. Meath. According to records from the sixteenth century to the present day it must be regarded as belonging to Ulster: in the Fiants we find a MacCarney among the followers of Rory O'Donnell; in the Hearth Money Rolls of the l660's the name appears frequently in Cos. Monaghan and Armagh; and comparatively recent sources indicate that they are still mainly located in that part of Ulster. It would appear, however, that the prefix Mac has been widely dropped, the name being now registered as Carney or Kearney. Probably the most remarkable person of this name was Susan MacKarney who died in Dublin in 1751 reputedly 120 years of age. She was a beggarwoman who had £250 secreted in the mattress of her death bed." [1]

Early History of the Carny family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carny research. Another 230 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1199, 1721, 1529, 1539 and 1543 are included under the topic Early Carny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carny Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Carny 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. Carney, Carnie, McCarney, MacCarney, O'Carney, Kearney and many more.

Early Notables of the Carny family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Carney of Cashel and John Kearney of Fethard, prominent in court and legal circles in England. In Scotland, "Patrick Makcarny was one of...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Carny migration to the United States +

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Carny or a variant listed above:

Carny Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Carny, who landed in Maryland in 1799 [2]

Canada Carny migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Carny Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Carny, aged 18, a spinster, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Highlander" in 1834

New Zealand Carny migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Carny Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Carny, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Himalaya" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1867 [3]
  • Mr. David Carny, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Himalaya" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1867 [3]
  • Miss Johanna Carny, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Himalaya" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1867 [3]
  • Mrs. Catherine Carny, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Himalaya" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1867 [3]


The Carny Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Sustine et abstine
Motto Translation: Sustain and abstain.


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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