Show ContentsKinley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Kinley comes from the ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland's west coast and Hebrides islands. The name comes from the personal name Finlay. The Gaelic form of the surname is Mac Fionnlaigh, which means son of Finlay. Thus, Kinley is a cognate of the surname Finlayson.

Early Origins of the Kinley family

The surname Kinley was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where the surname is still commonly found around Glenlyon and Balquhidder. The earliest known record of the name is from 1493, when Gillaspyk M'Kynlay witnessed legal proceedings involving Archibald, Earl of Argyll.

Early History of the Kinley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kinley research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1511, 1675, 1700 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Kinley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kinley Spelling Variations

The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years Kinley has appeared as MacKinley, MacKinlay, MacKindlay, MacKinly, MacKindley and many more.

Early Notables of the Kinley family

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was

  • William MacKinley, 25th President of the...
  • who was descended from northern Irish settler named David MacKinley one who had settled in Ireland about 1700...

Kinley Ranking

In the United States, the name Kinley is the 11,513rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 1

Ireland Migration of the Kinley family to Ireland

Some of the Kinley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 78 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 Kinley migration to the United States +

Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Kinley or a variant listed above:

Kinley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Philip Kinley, who landed in America in 1804 2
  • Hugh Kinley, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 2
  • John Kinley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1813 2
  • Letitia Kinley, who landed in New York, NY in 1813 2
  • James Kinley, who landed in New York in 1822 2
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Kinley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Edward J. Kinley, aged 24, who landed in America from Douglas, Isle of Man, in 1905
  • Ellen Kinley, aged 55, who settled in America from Kilmeedy, in 1906
  • Adeline Kinley, aged 27, who immigrated to the United States from Belfast, Ireland, in 1910
  • Sarah Kinley, aged 24, who settled in America from Dublin, Ireland, in 1910
  • Samuel Kinley, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Clogher, Ireland, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Kinley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kinley Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • James J. Kinley, aged 34, who settled in Lunenburg, Canada, in 1916
  • Wilfred Kinley, aged 20, who immigrated to Lunenburg, Canada, in 1916
  • Gordon Stanley Kinley, aged 29, who immigrated to Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1918
  • Wilfred Kinley, aged 22, who settled in Halifax, N.S., Canada, in 1918

Australia Kinley migration to Australia +

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

Kinley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Kinley, British Convict who was convicted in Isle of Man for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 6th April 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 3
  • Mr. John Kinley, Scottish convict who was convicted in Castle Rushen Gaol Delivery for 7 years, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st September 1832, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 4
  • James Kinley, aged 19, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nabob"

New Zealand Kinley 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:

Kinley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Eliza Kinley, (b. 1846), aged 20, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "John Temperley" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st June 1866 5

Contemporary Notables of the name Kinley (post 1700) +

  • Henry Clifford Kinley (1896-1976), American founder and dean Emeritus of the Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research
  • Myron M. Kinley (1898-1978), American oil well fire-fighting pioneer
  • David Kinley (1861-1944), Scotland-born, American economist
  • Kathy Kinley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1988 6
  • John P. Kinley, American Democratic Party politician, Chair of Chester County Democratic Party, 1927 6
  • J. Fred Kinley, American Republican politician, Mayor of Corry, Pennsylvania, 1953, 1960 6
  • David H. Kinley Jr., American Republican politician, Candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate 6th District, 1954 6
  • Cleve Kinley (b. 1984), Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman from Surrey B.C
  • Ed Kinley, Canadian politician, elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly
  • John James Kinley (1881-1971), Canadian industrialist, pharmaceutical chemist, journalist, ship owner in Nova Scotia
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

SS Atlantic
  • Eliza Kinley, who was traveling aboard the ship "SS Atlantic" when it struck rocks off Nova Scotia in 1873, died in the sinking

The Kinley 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: Amo
Motto Translation: I love.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th September 2021). Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook