Show ContentsMcKenney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of McKenney was Mac Cionaoith.

Early Origins of the McKenney family

The surname McKenney was first found in County Monaghan (Irish: Muineachán) located in the Northern part of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Ulster, at Truagh where they were known as the Lords of Truagh.

Early History of the McKenney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKenney research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the year 1544 is included under the topic Early McKenney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKenney Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname McKenney were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. MacKenna, MacKennagh, MacKenney, MacKenny, MacKinna, MacKinnie and many more.

Early Notables of the McKenney family (pre 1700)

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

McKenney Ranking

In the United States, the name McKenney is the 4,245th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [1]

United States McKenney migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the McKenney family relocated to North American shores quite early:

McKenney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Coul McKenney, who arrived in Virginia in 1716 [2]
McKenney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John McKenney, aged 21, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Anthony McKenney, aged 51, who landed in Maryland in 1812 [2]
  • Samuel McKenney, aged 49, who arrived in Maine in 1812 [2]
  • Paul McKenney, who landed in New York in 1826 [2]
  • William McKenney, aged 29, who landed in Harford County, Maryland in 1833 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McKenney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKenney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Jacob McKenney, who landed in Canada in 1834
  • William McKenney, who settled in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1871 [3]

Australia McKenney migration to Australia +

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

McKenney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name McKenney (post 1700) +

  • Joseph "Joe" McKenney, American head coach of the Boston College football program (1928 to 1934)
  • Devon McKenney (b. 1984), American professional soccer player from North Olmsted, Ohio
  • James Felix McKenney (b. 1968), American writer, director, producer and actor
  • Ruth McKenney (1911-1972), American author and journalist, best remembered for My Sister Eileen
  • Todd McKenney (b. 1965), Australian dancer, theatre performer and TV personality, best known as a judge on Australian television talent show Dancing with the Stars.
  • Henry William McKenney (1848-1917), Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta (1905-1917)
  • Donald Hamilton "Don" McKenney (1934-2022), Canadian NHL ice hockey forward and coach who played for the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues

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  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th February 2021). Retrieved from on Facebook