Looney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Irish surnames in use today are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Looney originally appeared in Gaelic as O Luinigh.
Early Origins of the Looney family
The surname Looney was first found in County Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they held a family seat from ancient times.
Early History of the Looney family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Looney research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Looney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Looney Spelling Variations
The spelling of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was rarely consistent. This inconsistency was due to the scribes and church officials' attempts to record orally defined names in writing. The common practice of recording names as they sounded resulted in spelling variations such as Lunney, Lunnie, Looney, Loney, Lunny, O'Lunney and others.
Early Notables of the Looney family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Looney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Looney migration to the United States +
In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of Looney:
Looney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- James C Looney, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 
Looney migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Looney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Mary Looney, aged 26, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Confiance" 
- Timothy Looney, aged 37, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Northern Light" 
- Ellen Looney, aged 15, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Northern Light" 
- Mary Looney, aged 18, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Northern Light" 
Looney 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:
Looney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Michael Looney, aged 28, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
- Margaret Looney, aged 24, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
- Mary Looney, aged 1, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
- Thomas Looney, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
- Thomas Looney, aged 35, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1874
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Looney (post 1700) +
- John Don Looney (1917-2015), American professional football end who played three seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles (1940) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (1941-1942)
- Richard Carl Looney (b. 1934), retired American Bishop of the United Methodist Church
- Joe Don Looney (1942-1988), American football running back
- Ben Earl Looney (1904-1981), Louisiana artist and author
- Brian James Looney (b. 1969), retired Major League Baseball pitcher
- Shelley Looney (b. 1972), American ice hockey player
- Martin M. Looney (b. 1948), American politician
- Andrew J. Looney (b. 1963), award-winning American game designer and computer programmer
- Thomas David Looney, Irish Labour Party politician
- Séamus Looney (b. 1950), Irish retired sportsperson
- ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Related Stories +
The Looney 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: Patriae infelici fidelis
Motto Translation: Faithful to an unhappy country.
Suggested Readings for the name Looney +
- 2415 Looney Family Tree by Paul Looney.
- ^ 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)
- ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 13th September 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Confiance 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/confiance1854.shtml.
- ^ South Australian Register Monday 9th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Norther Light 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/northernlight1855.shtml