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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish Feeney family come from? What is the Irish Feeney family crest and coat of arms? When did the Feeney family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Feeney family history?

The name Feeney originally appeared in Gaelic as O Fiannaidhe. This name, which was O Feinneadha in its earlier form, refers to a soldier.


Names written in official documents were generally spelt as they sounded, leading to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion in records of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Feeney that are preserved in documents of the family history are Finney, Feeney, Finnay, Finny, Fynnie, Fynney, Feenay, Feeny, Feaney, Feanay, Feany and many more.

First found in Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and where their territories were Ballyfeeney and in Roscommon. Moving north into Ulster the name became Finney. This branch also moved into southwest Scotland from about the 15th century.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Feeney research. Another 415 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1509, 1541, 1551, 1640, and 1678 are included under the topic Early Feeney History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Feeney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many destitute Irish families in the 18th and 19th centuries decided to leave their homeland, which had in many ways been scarred by English colonial rule. One of the most frequent destinations for these families was North America where it was possible for an Irish family to own their own parcel of land. Many of the early settlers did find land awaiting them in British North America, or even later in America, but for the majority of immigrants that arrived as a result of the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s the ownership of land was often a long way off. These Irish people were initially put to work on such industrial projects as the building of bridges, canals, and railroads, or they worked at manufacturing positions within factories. Whenever they arrived, the Irish made enormous contributions to the infant nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the earliest immigrants to bearer the name of Feeney were found through extensive research of immigration and passenger lists:

Feeney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Dennis Feeney, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Martin Feeney, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • William Feeney, who arrived in America in 1828
  • J Feeney, who landed in San Francisco, Cai in 1851
  • Thomas Feeney, aged 20, arrived in New York in 1854

Feeney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Michael Feeney, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway
  • Patrick Feeney, aged 13, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway
  • Martin Feeney, aged 10, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway
  • Ann Feeney, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1838 aboard the schooner "Susan Jane" from Ballyshannon


  • Carol Feeney (b. 1964), American Olympic rower who competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics
  • Joe Feeney (1931-2008), American tenor, best known for his work on The Lawrence Welk Show
  • Thomas Charles "Tom" Feeney III (b. 1958), American politician
  • Charles F. Feeney (b. 1931), Irish-American businessman and philanthropist
  • Mark Feeney, American Pulitzer Prize-winning (2008) arts critic for The Boston Globe
  • Steve Feeney (b. 1984), Irish footballer
  • Elaine Feeney (b. 1979), Irish poet
  • Julie Feeney, Irish composer, singer, record producer, musician, songwriter
  • Lee Feeney (b. 1978), Northern Irish professional footballer
  • Jamie Feeney (b. 1978), Australian rugby league player



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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  4. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Feeney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Feeney Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 1 May 2015 at 15:40.

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