Gunningham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada is thought to be the home of the ancestors of the Gunningham family. Their name comes from someone having 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 Gunningham family
The surname Gunningham 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 Gunningham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gunningham research. Another 118 words (8 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 Gunningham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gunningham Spelling Variations
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. Gunningham has appeared as Cunningham, Cunninghame, Cunyngham, Cunnyngham, Cunnynghame, Cummingham and many more.
Early Notables of the Gunningham 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...
Migration of the Gunningham family to Ireland
Some of the Gunningham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Gunningham or a variant listed above:
Gunningham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century