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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

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 surname Kenneally was 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.

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.


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 and printed products wherever possible.


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


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 County Waterford, Ireland 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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    Other References

    1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    3. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
    4. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
    5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
    7. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
    8. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
    9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    10. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
    11. ...

    The Kenneally Family Crest was acquired from the 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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