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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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

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The surname Kearney was first found in County Meath (Irish: An MhŪ) 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.

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


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kearney research. Another 466 words (33 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kearney History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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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

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 came to New York in 1811
  • Francis Kearney, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Daniel Kearney, who came to Philadelphia in 1812


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, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork
  • Ellen Kearney, aged 30, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork


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, Austraila
  • Richard Kearney, a cabinet-maker, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Kearney, a leather-dresser, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Kearney, a smith, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Christopher Kearney, a coachsmith, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832


Kearney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Mary Kearney arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1864
  • James Kearney arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" in 1875
  • Thomas Kearney arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" in 1875
  • Mary Kearney arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" in 1875
  • Joseph Kearney, aged 21, a farm labourer, arrived in Westland aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878

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  • William D. Kearney, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Iowa 3rd District, 1942, 1944
  • Thomas B. Kearney, American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Senate 13th District, 1928
  • Thomas M. Kearney, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 1924; Candidate for U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, 1926
  • Thomas Kearney, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Albany County 4th District, 1853
  • Patrick H. Kearney, American Democrat politician, Chair of Wayne County Democratic Party, 1927; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1940
  • Nicholas F. Kearney, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1928
  • Matthew M. Kearney, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1972
  • Ken Kearney, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1988
  • John F. Kearney, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1956, 1964
  • John F. Kearney, American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 12th District, 1903

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  • Midwest Families by Michael John Kearney.
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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

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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  5. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  6. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  7. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  8. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Kearney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kearney 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 14 May 2016 at 22:44.

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