Show ContentsDevinney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Devinney family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Devinney comes from when the family lived near a body of water derived from the Old English word that means deep waters.

Early Origins of the Devinney family

The surname Devinney was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Devinney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Devinney research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Devinney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Devinney Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Devinney has appeared include Devenish, Devonish, Devanay, Devenay, Deveney, Devenney, Devenny, O'Devanny, O'Devenish, O'Devonish and many more.

Early Notables of the Devinney family

More information is included under the topic Early Devinney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Devinney Ranking

In the United States, the name Devinney is the 18,262nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 1

Ireland Migration of the Devinney family to Ireland

Some of the Devinney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 54 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 Devinney migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Devinney arrived in North America very early:

Devinney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Devinney, who arrived in America in 1791 2
Devinney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Devinney, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1856 2

Contemporary Notables of the name Devinney (post 1700) +

  • Vernon R. DeVinney, American actor, known for Mannequin (1987), Maxim Xul (1991) and Homicide: Life on the Street (1993)
  • Bob DeVinney, American television writer active in the 1960s and 1970s
  • James A. DeVinney (b. 1942), American Daytime Emmy Award winning, Academy Award and Primetime Emmy Award nominated producer and director, known for his work on The American Experience, Eyes on the Prize and Tale of Two Cities
  • Timothy M. Devinney, Australian-born, American management scholar

The Devinney 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: Spero et captivus nitor
Motto Translation: I hope, and though a captive I strive.

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