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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The surname McElhinny 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.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Kilkenny, MacKilkenny, MacElhinny, MacElheeny, MacIlhenny and many more.

First found in County Derry, where the sept was of the Cenel Eoghain group. The St. Canice branch of whom they were originally followers, came from Dromachose, County Derry. One of the earliest records of the name is of David de Kilkenny, who 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. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McElhinny research. Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1690 and 1866 are included under the topic Early McElhinny History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McElhinny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McElhinny Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • David McElhinny, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1806

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  • Brad McElhinny, American publisher and editor of The Charleston Daily Mail, a Pulitzer Prize-winning morning newspaper in Charleston, West Virginia


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  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)

Other References

  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  3. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The McElhinny Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McElhinny 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 6 April 2015 at 11:09.

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