Show ContentsMcKiernan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of McKiernan was Mac Thighearnain, which is derived from the word "tighearna," which means "lord."

Early Origins of the McKiernan family

The surname McKiernan was first found in County Cavan, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the McKiernan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKiernan research. Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKiernan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKiernan Spelling Variations

People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname McKiernan that are preserved in archival documents are Kiernan, MacKiernan, Tiernan, McKernan, McKernon, McKernin, McKernen and many more.

Early Notables of the McKiernan family (pre 1700)

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

United States McKiernan migration to the United States +

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name McKiernan:

McKiernan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James McKiernan, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1802 [1]
  • Michael McKiernan, aged 52, who arrived in Maryland in 1812 [1]
  • Pat McKiernan, aged 35, who landed in New York in 1864 [1]
  • Bernard McKiernan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871 [1]

Canada McKiernan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKiernan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Ellen McKiernan, aged 50 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Christiana" departing from the port of Londonderry, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle on 6th June 1847 [2]
  • Mr. Mary McKiernan, aged 26 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Lord Seaton" departing from the port of Belfast, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name McKiernan (post 1700) +

  • John S. McKiernan (1911-1997), American politician, Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island from 1947 to 1956
  • Eoin McKiernan Ph.D. (1915-2004), American founder of the Irish American Cultural Institute
  • Dennis McKiernan (b. 1932), American writer best known for his fantasy work The Iron Tower
  • Nancy McKiernan, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Colorado, 2012 [3]
  • John Sammon McKiernan (1911-1997), American Democratic Party politician, Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island, 1947-50, 1951-56; Governor of Rhode Island, 1950-51; Superior Court Judge in Rhode Island, 1956- [3]
  • Hugh McKiernan, American politician, Candidate for New York State Senate 4th District, 1932 [3]
  • Charles Patrick McKiernan (1887-1916), American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Canton, 1916; Chungking, 1916 [3]
  • James Philip "Jim" McKiernan (b. 1944), Irish-born, Australian politician
  • Catherina McKiernan (b. 1969), Irish long-distance runner world champion
  • Andrew J McKiernan (b. 1970), Australian science fiction writer and illustrator

  1. 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)
  2. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 45)
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from on Facebook