The Dalriadan kingdom of ancient Scotland
was the home of the ancestors of the Cuninghan family. Their name indicates that they lived at Cunningham in Ayrshire
. However, numerous branches of the Cunningham family spread all over Scotland
. Two of the most prominent branches of the Cunningham Clan
, the Cunninghams of Corsehill and the Cunninghams of Caprington, trace their ancestry back to the medieval era.
Early Origins of the Cuninghan family
The surname Cuninghan was first found in Ayrshire
(Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland
, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire
. About the year 1050, it is said that Warnebald Cunningham saved King Malcolm Canmore by hiding him in the barn and covering him with hay concealing him from his pursuer the Pretender King, MacBeth. The grateful King Malcolm later bestowed on Warnebald the lands of Cunningham and the motto "Over Fork Over."
Early History of the Cuninghan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cuninghan research.Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1490, 1548, 1574, 1520, 1578, 1630, 1575, 1630, 1610, 1664, 1670, 1716 and are included under the topic Early Cuninghan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cuninghan Spelling Variations
Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations
of Cuninghan include Cunningham, Cunninghame, Cunyngham, Cunnyngham, Cunnynghame, Cummingham and many more.
Early Notables of the Cuninghan family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan
at this time was Cuthbert Cunningham, 3rd Earl of Glencairn; William Cunningham, 4th Earl of Glencairn (c.
1490-1548), a Scottish nobleman; Alexander Cunningham, 5th Earl of Glencairn (died 1574), Scottish nobleman and Protestant reformer; William Cunningham, 6th Earl of Glencairn (ca. 1520-1578); James Cunningham, 7th Earl of... Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cuninghan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cuninghan family to Ireland
Some of the Cuninghan family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 85 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cuninghan family to the New World and Oceana
The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence
, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan
societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Cuninghan or a variant listed above include: John Cunningham, his wife and son, who settled in Barbados in 1679.