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

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

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

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

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.


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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 Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Kearney, a leather-dresser, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Kearney, a smith, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Christopher Kearney, a coachsmith, arrived in Van Diemen’s 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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  • Denis Kearney (1847-1907), Irish-born, American political agitator, known mostly for his anti-Chinese influence in California
  • James Lee Kearney (b. 1943), American former NFL football safety
  • Hannah Kearney (b. 1986), American gold medalist mogul skier at the 2010 Winter Olympics
  • Richard Kearney (b. 1954), Irish philosopher
  • Peadar Kearney (1883-1942), Irish composer who wrote the lyrics to "Amhrán na bhFiann," the Irish national anthem in 1907
  • Robert "Rob" Kearney (b. 1986), Irish rugby union footballer
  • Tom Kearney (b. 1923), Irish fencer at the 1952 and 1960 Summer Olympics
  • John Kearney D.D. (1742-1813), Church of Ireland Bishop of Ossory from 1806 to 1813
  • Mr. Thomas Kearney (d. 1915), Irish Fireman from Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Patrick Kearney (d. 1915), Irish Trimmer from Crumlin, Mayo, Ireland, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking

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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. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  5. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  6. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. 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 5 May 2015 at 14:16.

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