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

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

The surname derives from the Gaelic "O Catharnaigh," derived from the word "cearnach," meaning "warlike" or 'victorious'.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Carney, Kearney, O'Kearney, O'Carney and others.

First found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster and County Clare where O'Kearney, were chiefs of Avon-Ui-Cearney or O'Kearney's River, a district about Six-Mile-Bridge, in the baronies of Tulla and Bunratty.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerney research. Another 466 words(33 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kerney History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kerney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • David Kerney, who arrived in Virginia in 1654

Kerney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Anne Kerney, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

Kerney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Kerney, aged 27, landed in New York in 1812
  • Wm Kerney, aged 20, arrived in America in 1821
  • Michael Kerney, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Mary Kerney, who landed in New York in 1845

Kerney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mathew Kerney lived in Harbour Grace in 1775 and also lived in St. John's, the Bay of Bulls, Mobile, and Carbonear

Kerney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Kerney arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Maria" in 1849

Kerney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Kerney, aged 30, a carpenter, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Ellen Kerney, aged 28, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Elizabeth Kerney, aged 2, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Anna M. Kerney, aged 4 months, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • John Kerney landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842

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  • Patrick Manning Kerney (b. 1976), retired American NFL football defensive end
  • Kelley Kerney, American novelist
  • Leopold H. Kerney, first Irish Minister Plenipotentiary to be appointed to Spain (1935 to 1946)
  • Mr. Harry Kerney (1894-1914), Irish Third Class Passenger from Londonderry, Ireland who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914


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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: Sustine et abstine
Motto Translation: Sustain and abstain

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  1. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  7. 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).
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Kerney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kerney 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 13 November 2014 at 16:21.

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