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

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

All Irish surnames have a long, ancient Gaelic history behind them. The original Gaelic form of the name Kenneally is O Cinnfhaolaidh, which is derived from "ceann," which means "head," and "faol," which means "wolf."


The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name Kenneally revealed spelling variations, including Kinneally, Kinealy, Kinnelly, Kinnelley, Kinneley, Kinelly, Kinelley, Kenealy, O'Kinnealy, O'Kinnelly, O'Kinelly, O'Kinneley, O'Kennelly, O'Kenelly, Kennelly, Kenelly, Kennealy, Keneally, O'Kennealy, O'Kenneally, Quinelly, O'Quinelly, O'Quinelley, Kenneallagh, Keneallagh, Kenealagh, O'Kenealagh, O'Kenealagh, Kinneary, Kineary, O'Kinneary and many more.

First found in Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat as chiefs in the barony of Connello, from olden times up to the 12th century when they were dispersed by the Anglo Norman invasion by Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke in 1172.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kenneally research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the year 1800 is included under the topic Early Kenneally History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Kenneally:

Kenneally Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Kenneally, aged 40, who emigrated to the United States from Limerick, in 1893

Kenneally Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • James Kenneally, aged 24, who emigrated to America from Limerick, Ireland, in 1904
  • David Kenneally, aged 26, who landed in America from Waterford, in 1905
  • Elsie Kenneally, aged 19, who emigrated to the United States from Carrigavisteal, Ireland, in 1906
  • John Kenneally, aged 25, who landed in America from Youhal, Ireland, in 1907
  • Annie Kenneally, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States from Listowel, Ireland, in 1908

Kenneally Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Bartholomew Kenneally (aged 32), a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aliquis"


  • Christine Kenneally, Australian-American journalist, great-granddaughter of J.J. Kenneally
  • George Vincent Kenneally Sr (1902-1968), American football offensive lineman
  • William P. Kenneally, American Democrat politician, Chair of New York County Democratic Party, 1939
  • George V. Kenneally Jr., American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1964
  • William Kenneally (1899-1964), Irish politician Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) in 1952 and (1954-1957)
  • Brendan Kenneally (b. 1955), Irish politician, Teachta Dála (TD) for the Waterford (2007-2011), son of Billy Kenneally
  • William "Billy" Kenneally (1925-2009), Irish politician, Chairman of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party (1977-1982), son of William Kenneally
  • John Kenneally, Irish sportsperson (hurler)
  • Pat Kenneally (b. 1968), retired Irish sportsperson
  • James Joseph "J.J." Kenneally (1879-1954), Australian politician, railwayman and unionist



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  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  7. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  9. 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.
  10. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Kenneally Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kenneally 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 6 November 2015 at 09:32.

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