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


The many Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name McEnany originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac an Airchinnigh, which means son of the erenagh. The word erenagh refers to a steward of church lands. This was originally an ecclesiastical task, but was later performed by laymen, becoming a hereditary trade.

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The surname McEnany was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

One explanation for the many variations is that scribes and church officials frequently spelled the name as it sounded: an imprecise method at best. Understandably then, various spellings of the surname McEnany were found in the many archives researched. These included MacInerny, MacInerney, Nerney, Kinnerk, Nerheny, Nertney, Nirney, McNertney, MacNertney, MacNerney and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McEnany research. Another 222 words (16 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early McEnany History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McEnany Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine caused a great exodus of immigrants to North America. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name McEnany or one of its variants: Pat and Thomas McInerheny settled in Canada in 1847; Dennis, John, and Margaret McInerny arrived in Philadelphia in 1854; Denis, John, and Thomas McInnerney arrived in Philadelphia in 1866..

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  4. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  5. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  6. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  7. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  11. ...

The McEnany Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McEnany 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 27 October 2010 at 13:48.

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