Kennedie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A Strathclyde-Briton family from the Scottish/English Borderlands was the first to use the surname Kennedie. It is a name for a dour or serious person. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Gaelic nickname Cinneididh, which translates as grim-headed. It is doubtful that there is any ancient relationship between the Irish Kennedys and the Scottish Clan.

The Irish Kennedy's history dates back to about 900 AD, and there did not appear to be any direct relationship between the two families. However, in the 16th century, a sept of the Scottish Kennedy Clan did develop in Ulster, but they are undoubtedly migrants from Scotland, and had no previous link to the southern Irish Kennedys.

Early Origins of the Kennedie family

The surname Kennedie was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where the earliest record of them dates from 1185, during the reign of King William the Lion, when a Henry Kennedy was reported to have been involved in a rebellion in Galloway but died in battle.

The Kennedys derived from a branch of Celtic Earls of Galloway (not to be confused with Gallway, which is in Ireland). Their power and influence in that region was great. In fact, there is a rhyme handed down through clansmen and bards from the year 1300 which runs as follows: 'Twixt Wigtown and the town of Ayr, Portpatrick and the Cruives of Cree. No man need think to bide there, unless he court with Kennedy.' [1]

Early History of the Kennedie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kennedie research. Another 246 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1170, 1296, 1513, 1406, 1437, 1646, 1406, 1480, 1451, 1508, 1513, 1509, 1513, 1527, 1515, 1558, 1541, 1576, 1573, 1615, 1668, 1653, 1701 and are included under the topic Early Kennedie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kennedie Spelling Variations

Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Kennedie has been spelled Kennedy, Kannady, Kenardy, Kennaday, Kenneday, Kenneyday, Kennediem, MacKennedy, MacUalraig (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the Kennedie family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Gilbert Kennedy, 1st Lord Kennedy (c. 1406-c. 1480); John Kennedy, 2nd Lord Kennedy (1451-1508); David Kennedy, 3rd Lord Kennedy (d. 1513) (created Earl of Cassilis in 1509); David Kennedy, 1st Earl of Cassilis (d. 1513); Gilbert Kennedy, 2nd Earl of Cassilis...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kennedie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Kennedie family to Ireland

Some of the Kennedie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Kennedie migration to the United States +

For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Kennedie Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Adam Kennedie, who landed in New York in 1698 [2]


The Kennedie 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: Avise la fin
Motto Translation: Consider the end.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  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)


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