Show ContentsKearnan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of Kearnan was Mac Thighearnain, which is derived from the word "tighearna," which means "lord."

Early Origins of the Kearnan family

The surname Kearnan was first found in County Cavan, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Kearnan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kearnan research. Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kearnan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kearnan Spelling Variations

Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Kearnan family name include Kiernan, MacKiernan, Tiernan, McKernan, McKernon, McKernin, McKernen and many more.

Early Notables of the Kearnan family (pre 1700)

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

Australia Kearnan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kearnan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Kearnan, (Kernan), (b. 1797), aged 25, Irish ploughman who was convicted in Kidare, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 3rd September 1822, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [1]
  • Mr. John Kearnan, (b. 1839), aged 24, Irish labourer travelling from Queenstown, Ireland aboard the ship "Golden Empire" arriving in Brisbane, Australia in July 1863 [2]

  1. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from
  2. The Ships List Passenger Lists Ship Golden Empire (Retrieved 26th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook