Kearney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname derives from the Gaelic "O Catharnaigh," derived from the word "cearnach," meaning "warlike" or 'victorious'.

Early Origins of the Kearney family

The surname Kearney was first found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster and County Clare where O'Kearney, were chiefs of Avon-Ui-Cearney or O'Kearney's River, a district about Six-Mile-Bridge, in the baronies of Tulla and Bunratty.

Early History of the Kearney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kearney research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1567, 1640, 1567, 1603, 1625, 1600, 1561, 1564, 1565, 1602 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Kearney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kearney Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Carney, Kearney, O'Kearney, O'Carney and others.

Early Notables of the Kearney family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Barnabas Kearney, in Irish Brian O Cearnaidh (1567-1640), Jesuit, born about 29 Sept. 1567, a native of Cashel, Ireland, the son of Patrick Kearney. His brother David was Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cashel from 1603 to 1625. [1] John Carney or Kearney, in Irish Sean O Cearnaidh (d. 1600?), was an Irish divine, a native of Leyney in the province of Connaught, was matriculated as a sizar of Magdalene College, Cambridge, on 12 Nov. 1561, and proceeded...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kearney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Kearney migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kearney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Kearney, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [2]
Kearney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Bryan Kearney, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1802
  • Ann Kearney, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1804
  • Michael Kearney, who settled in New York in 1811
  • Francis Kearney, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [2]
  • Daniel Kearney, who settled in Philadelphia in 1812
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Kearney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kearney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Kearney and his wife and four children arrived in Quebec in 1825
  • Patrick Kearney and his wife and four children, who arrived in Quebec in 1825
  • Rose Kearney, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • John Kearney, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork, Ireland
  • Ellen Kearney, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Kearney migration to Australia +

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

Kearney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Kearney, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Richard Kearney, a cabinet-maker, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Kearney, a leather-dresser, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Kearney, a smith, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Christopher Kearney, a coachsmith, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Kearney 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:

Kearney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Ann Kearney, (b. 1818), aged 44, Irish housekeeper from Armagh, travelling form London aboard the ship"Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th September 1862 [4]
  • Miss Eliza Kearney, (b. 1841), aged 21, Irish domestic servant from Armagh, travelling form London aboard the ship"Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th September 1862 [4]
  • Mr. William Kearney, (b. 1843), aged 19, Irish farm labourer from Armagh, travelling form London aboard the ship"Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th September 1862 [4]
  • Mr. Maxwell Kearney, (b. 1844), aged 18, Irish farm labourer from Armagh, travelling form London aboard the ship"Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th September 1862 [4]
  • Miss Sarah Ann Kearney, (b. 1846), aged 16, Irish domestic servant from Armagh, travelling form London aboard the ship"Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th September 1862 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Kearney (post 1700) +

  • Hannah Kearney (b. 1986), American gold medalist mogul skier at the 2010 Winter Olympics
  • James Lee Kearney (b. 1943), American former NFL football safety
  • Denis Kearney (1847-1907), Irish-born, American political agitator, known mostly for his anti-Chinese influence in California
  • Dyre Kearney (d. 1791), American politician, Delegate to Continental Congress from Delaware, 1787 [5]
  • Dennis J. Kearney, American politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, 1983 [5]
  • Daniel J. Kearney, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1924 [5]
  • Bernard William Kearney (1889-1976), American Republican politician, Lawyer [5]
  • Bernard Kearney, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Essex County, 1864-65 [5]
  • Belle Kearney, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1924 [5]
  • Augustine J. Kearney, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1940, 1944 [5]
  • ... (Another 32 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Dennis Frances Kearney (1939-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Hillsborough, Auckland, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [6]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Thomas P Kearney (b. 1909), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy Reserve from Sunderland, County Durham, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [7]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Thomas Kearney, Irish Fireman from Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [8]
  • Mr. Patrick Kearney, Irish Trimmer from Crumlin, Mayo, Ireland, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [8]


The Kearney 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: Sustine et abstine
Motto Translation: Sustain and abstain


Suggested Readings for the name Kearney +

  • 1510 Midwest Families by Michael John Kearney.

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. 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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  7. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  8. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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