McKenray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name McKenray was originally written in a Gaelic form as O hInneirghe, which is derived from an adjective meaning easily roused early.

Early Origins of the McKenray family

The surname McKenray 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 at Cullentra. From here, the head of this Irish sept extended his territories into the valley of Glenconkeiny in County Londonderry.

Meilor Fitzhenry (d. 1220), was "Justiciar of Ireland, was the son of Henry, the bastard son of King Henry I, by Nesta, the wife of Gerald of Windsor, and the daughter of Rhys ab Tewdwr, king of South Wales. He was thus the first cousin of Henry II, and related to the noblest Norman and native families of South Wales. " [1]

Early History of the McKenray family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKenray research. Another 54 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1753, 1816, 1796, 1800, 1785 and 1845 are included under the topic Early McKenray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKenray Spelling Variations

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the McKenray family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including O'Henry, Fitzhenry, MacHenry, MacEnery, MacEniry and others.

Early Notables of the McKenray family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was James McHenry (1753-1816), American (Irish-born) patriot in the American Revolution; Secretary of War 1796-1800, and private secretary to...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKenray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McKenray family

Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name McKenray: Francis McHenry, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1738; James McHenry, who settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1820; Thomas FitzHenry, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1773.



  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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