Kinsella History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Kinsella originally appeared in Gaelic as Cinnsealach. This surname is derived from the Clan name Ui Ceinnsealaigh.

Early Origins of the Kinsella family

The surname Kinsella was first found in County Wexford (Irish: Loch Garman), founded by Vikings as Waesfjord, and located in Southeastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Kinsella family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kinsella research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kinsella History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kinsella Spelling Variations

Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Kinsella family name include Kinsella, Kinsellagh, Kincheloe,Kenselloe, Kinsello and many more.

Early Notables of the Kinsella family (pre 1700)

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


United States Kinsella 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 Kinsella name:

Kinsella Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Alexander Kinsella who settled in America in 1846
  • William Kinsella, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1855 [1]
  • Matthew Kinsella, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1856 [1]
  • Michael Kinsella, who settled in Philadelphia in 1860

Canada Kinsella migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kinsella Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Kinsella, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • Edward Kinsella, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843
  • Mr. William Kinsella, aged 22 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Coromandel" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [2]
  • Ms. Mary Kinsella who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "John Bell" departing 10th May 1847 from New Ross, Ireland; the ship arrived on 29th June 1847 but she died on board [3]

Australia Kinsella migration to Australia +

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

Kinsella Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Eliza Kinsella, aged 28, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "British Empire" [4]
  • Eliza Kinsella, aged 28, a servant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "British Empire" in 1850 [4]
  • Edward Kinsella, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett" [5]
  • Margaret Kinsella, aged 22, a seamstress, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Hammond" [6]
  • Honoria Kinsella, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "John Banks" [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Kinsella 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:

Kinsella Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Kinsella, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th August 1859 [8]
  • M. A. Kinsella, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Countess of Kintore" in 1870

Contemporary Notables of the name Kinsella (post 1700) +

  • Walter Kinsella (1900-1975), American theater, television and radio actor
  • Walter A. Kinsella (1885-1971), American squash player, World Squash Champion from 1914 to 1926
  • John Pitann Kinsella (b. 1952), American former competition swimmer and Olympic champion at the 1972 Summer Olympics
  • Norman Stephan Kinsella (b. 1965), American intellectual property lawyer and author
  • Tim Kinsella (b. 1974), American musician
  • Mike Kinsella (b. 1977), American musician
  • John Kinsella (b. 1947), Irish retired hurler
  • Thomas Kinsella (b. 1928), Irish poet, translator, editor, and publisher
  • Jimmy Kinsella (b. 1939), Irish professional golfer
  • William Patrick "W.P." Kinsella OC, OBC (1935-2016), Canadian novelist, best known for his novel Shoeless Joe (1982), which was adapted into the movie Field of Dreams in 1989 starring Kevin Kostner from which the now famous expression "If you build it, they will come" expression originated
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Louis Kinsella (d. 1912), aged 30, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [9]


  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. 38)
  3. ^ 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. 83)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BRITISH EMPIRE 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850BritishEmpire.htm
  5. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARSHALL BENNETT 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/marshallbennett1852.shtml
  6. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 20th January 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Willaim Hammond 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/williamhammond1854.shtml.
  7. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 30th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) John Banks 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/johnbanks1855.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. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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