Show ContentsCharney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Charney has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. Generally, the original Gaelic form of the name Charney 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 Charney family

The surname Charney 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 Charney family

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

Charney Spelling Variations

Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Charney revealed many variations, including Carney, Carnie, McCarney, MacCarney, O'Carney, Kearney and many more.

Early Notables of the Charney family

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 Charney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Charney Ranking

In the United States, the name Charney is the 12,665th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

United States Charney migration to the United States +

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 Charney or a variant listed above, including:

Charney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • M. Charney, who settled in Texas around the middle of the nineteenth century

Contemporary Notables of the name Charney (post 1700) +

  • Jule Gregory Charney (1917-1981), American meteorologist who pioneered the development of weather prediction, eponym of The Jule G. Charney Award
  • Leon Charney (1938-2016), American real estate tycoon, author, philanthropist, political pundit and media personality, Forbes ranked him as 353rd among the wealthiest Americans in 2012
  • Noah Charney (b. 1979), American art historian and novelist, known for his mystery novel The Art Thief
  • Jordan Charney (b. 1937), American character actor
  • Jonathan I. Charney (1943-2002), American academic, author, lawyer and the Lee S. and Charles A. Spier Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Dov Charney (b. 1969), Canadian businessman and the founder and former CEO of American Apparel
  • Ann Charney, award winning Canadian novelist, short story writer and journalist, wife of Melvin Charney
  • Melvin Charney (1935-2012), Canadian artist and architect

The Charney 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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?"., on Facebook