Kerin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gaelic, otherwise known as Early Modern Irish, was used in Ireland from around the year 1200 until the 18th century. It is from this language that we found the first references to the name Kerin as O Ciarain or Mac Ciarain. These names are derived from the word "ciar," which means "black" or "dark brown."

Early Origins of the Kerin family

The surname Kerin was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Kerin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerin research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kerin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kerin Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname Kerin can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include Kieran, O'Kieran, Keiran, Keighran, O'Keiran, Kerin and many more.

Early Notables of the Kerin family (pre 1700)

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


United States Kerin migration to the United States +

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Kerin name:

Kerin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Kerin, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]

Canada Kerin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kerin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Kerin, aged 50 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Mary" departing 24th May 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 27th July 1847 but he died on board [2]

Australia Kerin migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kerin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Honora Kerin, (b. 1806), aged 22, Irish servant who was convicted in County Clare, Ireland for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "City of Edinburgh II" on 23rd June 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Judy Kerin, aged 18, a dairy maid, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sibella" [4]
  • Mary Kerin, aged 25, a dairy maid, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge" [5]
  • Mary Kerin, aged 25, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" [6]
  • Judy Kerin, aged 21, a dairy maid, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Epaminondas" [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Kerin migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Kerin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Kerin, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874 [8]
  • Mr. John Kerin, British settler travelling from London, UK with 1 child aboard the ship "Assaye" arriving in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1874 [8]
  • John Kerin, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Caroline" in 1876 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kerin (post 1700) +

  • John Patrick Kerin (1875-1946), American professional baseball umpire
  • Charles M. Kerin (1915-1988), American illustrator and painter
  • John Nelson Kerin (1858-1919), American Major League Baseball player
  • Karen Ann Kerin, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Vermont at-large, 2000 [10]
  • John Kerin (1962-2001), Irish sportsperson
  • Alan Kerin (b. 1977), Irish sportsperson
  • Charlie Kerin (1918-1944), prominent Irish Republican
  • John F. Kerin (d. 2006), Australian physician, Professor of reproductive medicine, and was a recognized innovator in biomedical technology
  • John Charles Kerin (b. 1937), Australian economist and former Australian Labor Party (ALP) politician
  • Robert Gerard Kerin (b. 1954), Liberal Premier of South Australia


The Kerin 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: Fidens et constans
Motto Translation: Stand firm on trust.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 82)
  3. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 10th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/city-of-edinburgh)
  4. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SIBELLA 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/sibella1852.shtml
  5. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SURGE 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/surge1852.shtml
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PHOEBE DUNBAR 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/phoebedunbar1852.shtml
  7. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) EPAMINONDAS 1852. Retrieved www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/epaminondas1852.shtml
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 5th November 2010). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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