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The original Gaelic form of the name Kernaghan is O Cearnachain, which is derived from the word "cearnach," which means "victorious."

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The surname Kernaghan was first found in County Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Because early scribes and church officials often spelled names as they sounded, a person could have many various spellings of his name.Many different spelling variations of the surname Kernaghan were found in the archives researched. These included Kernahan, Kernaghan, Carnahan, Carnaghan and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kernaghan research. Another 179 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Kernaghan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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

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A massive wave of Irish immigrants hit North America during the 19th century. Although many early Irish immigrants made a carefully planned decision to leave left Ireland for the promise of free land, by the 1840s immigrants were fleeing a famine stricken land in desperation. The condition of Ireland during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s can be attributed to a rapidly expanding population and English imperial policies. Those Irish families that arrived in North America were essential to its rapid social, industrial, and economic development. Passenger and immigration lists have revealed a number of early Irish immigrants bearing the name Kernaghan:

Kernaghan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Robert Kernaghan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • Alexander Kernaghan who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1830
  • John Kernaghan (1840) and William Kernaghan (1856) settled in Philadelphia, PA

Kernaghan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Kernaghan arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
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  • Mae W. Kernaghan, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1944
  • H. Kernaghan, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Mississippi, 1888
  • Mae W. Kernaghan, American politician, former Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
  • Charles Kernaghan (b. 1948), American executive director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights
  • Alan Kernaghan (b. 1967), Irish former footballer
  • Mike Kernaghan (b. 1955), New Zealand bronze medalist lawn bowler at the 2002 Commonwealth Games
  • Ray Kernaghan, Australian country music artist, is the father of country music artists Lee Kernaghan and Tania Kernaghan and has twelve gold and two platinum records
  • Eileen Kernaghan (b. 1939), Canadian three-time Aurora Award winning novelist
  • Tania Maree Kernaghan (b. 1968), Australian country music singer
  • Lee Kernaghan OAM (b. 1964), Australian country music singer and songwriter
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Citations



    Other References

    1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    3. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
    4. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
    5. 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.
    6. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
    7. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    8. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
    9. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
    10. 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).
    11. ...

    The Kernaghan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kernaghan 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 October 2015 at 15:31.

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