Show ContentsCunnington History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Cunnington was first used in the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. It indicates that the first bearer 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 Cunnington family

The surname Cunnington 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." 1

Early History of the Cunnington family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cunnington research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1490, 1520, 1548, 1574, 1575, 1578, 1610, 1630, 1664, 1670, 1716 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Cunnington History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cunnington Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Cunnington has been spelled Cunningham, Cunninghame, Cunyngham, Cunnyngham, Cunnynghame, Cummingham and many more.

Early Notables of the Cunnington family

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

Ireland Migration of the Cunnington family to Ireland

Some of the Cunnington family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Cunnington migration to the United States +

Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Cunnington or a variant listed above:

Cunnington Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Cunnington, who arrived in New York in 1832 2

New Zealand Cunnington 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:

Cunnington Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Cunnington, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Ann Cunnington, aged 29, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Cunnington (post 1700) +

  • Eddie Cunnington (b. 1969), Scottish former association footballer
  • Edward Benjamin Howard Cunnington (1861-1950), British archaeologist, known for his work on prehistoric Wiltshire
  • Maud Edith Cunnington (1869-1951), Welsh archaeologist, best known for her work work on the Salisbury Plain which includes Stonehenge
  • Shaun Cunnington (b. 1966), English former professional footballer
  • Ben Cunnington (b. 1991), Australian rules footballer
  • Adam Paul Cunnington (b. 1987), English footballer

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Alan Leonard Fyffe Cunnington (1913-1941), Australian Ordnance Artificer 4th Class from West Brunswick, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking 3

  1. Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. 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. HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from on Facebook