McElhinney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The surname McElhinney comes from the Irish Mac Giolla Chainnigh, meaning the son of a servant or devotee of St. Canice, also known as St. Kenny. The place name Kilkenny, is also derived from the saint; in Irish it is Cill Chainnigh, meaning the church of St. Canice.
Early Origins of the McElhinney family
The surname McElhinney was first found in County Derry, where the sept was of the Cenel Eoghain group.
Saint Cainnech or Cannicus (d. 598?), was "Abbot of Achadh-bo, and the patron saint from whom Kilkenny (Cill-Cainnech) receives its name, has been generally identified with the more famous St. Kenneth or Kenny, to whom so many Scotch churches have been dedicated. Most of the early authorities state that he died between 598 and 600 A.D., at the age of eighty-four. This gives from 514 to 516 as the year of his birth." 
The St. Canice branch of whom they were originally followers, came from Dromachose, County Derry. Of this branch, David de Kilkenny, was Bishop of Achonry, County Sligo (1312 to 1344.) Ironically the name is not taken from the town in Leinster or the county named Kilkenny. References to the surname were rare throughout history. 
Early History of the McElhinney family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McElhinney research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1690 and 1866 are included under the topic Early McElhinney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McElhinney Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Kilkenny, MacKilkenny, MacElhinny, MacElheeny, MacIlhenny and many more.
Early Notables of the McElhinney family (pre 1700)
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McElhinney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McElhinney migration to the United States +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
McElhinney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- John McElhinney, who arrived in New York in 1839 
- James McElhinney, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1892
- Edward McElhinney, aged 23, who landed in America from Donegal, Ireland, in 1893
- Ellen McElhinney, aged 22, who settled in America from Donegal, in 1899
McElhinney Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- James McElhinney, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States from Donegal, in 1902
- Catherine McElhinney, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States from Donegal, in 1903
- Bridget McElhinney, aged 60, who landed in America from Derry, Ireland, in 1908
- Letitia McElhinney, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Carrigart, Ireland, in 1910
- Bernard McElhinney, aged 10, who immigrated to America from Carndonagh, Ireland, in 1911
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name McElhinney (post 1700) +
- Ryan McElhinney, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2008
- John W. McElhinney, American Republican politician, Circuit Judge in Missouri 13th Circuit, 1927
- Andrew Repasky McElhinney (b. 1979), American film producer
- Ian McElhinney (b. 1948), Irish three-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominated actor and director, known for City of Ember (2008), Leap Year (2010) and Game of Thrones (2011)
- John McElhinney, Irish founder of McElhinney's, a department store located in Ballybofey, County Donegal in 1971, the largest department store outside The Pale
- Robert McElhinney (1747-1831), Irish-born, Canadian politician who represented Londonderry township in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1790 to 1799
- Francis Gerard "Gerry" McElhinney (b. 1956), Irish sportsman who played Gaelic football
- Mandy McElhinney, Australian Australian Film Institute Award winning and two-time Logie Award nominated actress, known for appearing in the TV sketch comedy series Comedy Inc
- Curtis McElhinney (b. 1983), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey goaltender
Related Stories +
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
- ^ 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)