Show ContentsMcKinnis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While many of Irish names are quite familiar to most, their original Gaelic forms are often forgotten and mysterious. The original Gaelic form of the name McKinnis is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus." [1]

Early Origins of the McKinnis family

The surname McKinnis was first found in County Down (Irish:An Dún) part of the Province of Ulster, in Northern Ireland, formerly known as county St Mirren, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the McKinnis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKinnis research. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1539, 1543, 1584, 1640, 1703, 1797, 1798, 1868 and 1759 are included under the topic Early McKinnis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKinnis Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, was what guided scribes and church officials in recording names, a practice that often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname McKinnis are preserved in documents that were examined for evidence of the family's history. The various spellings of McKinnis included Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.

Early Notables of the McKinnis family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Hugo Magennis (d. 1640) who was the Franciscan Bishop of Down and Connor; the second Viscount Iveagh, Brian Magennis who was killed in action in 1703; Richard and Richard the...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKinnis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKinnis Ranking

In the United States, the name McKinnis is the 11,820th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

United States McKinnis migration to the United States +

The 19th century brought a massive reduction in Ireland's population. It seemed that during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s the Irish people had two options: starve or immigrate. Those that chose the later frequently headed for the United States, hopeful for land, work, and equality. Those determined for free land joined the migration west; while others stayed behind to live in urban centers and often work in factories. Still others began a transitory life in work camps, building the bridges, canals, railways, and highways so critical to the rapidly development of the growing industrial nation. Early passenger and immigration lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name McKinnis:

McKinnis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Maggie McKinnis, aged 33, originally from Dundee, Scotland, who arrived in New York in 1911 aboard the ship "Columbia" from Glasgow, Scotland [3]
  • Clarence M. McKinnis, aged 18, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Lake Felicity" from Matanzas, Cuba [4]

New Zealand McKinnis migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McKinnis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Lachlan McKinnis, aged 21, a shepherd, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840

Contemporary Notables of the name McKinnis (post 1700) +

  • Joe D. McKinnis, U.S. Navy Squadron Aviation Electronics Technician, eponym of the Antarctic McKinnis Peak
  • Bo McKinnis, American Major League Baseball sports agent
  • Hugh Lee McKinnis Jr. (b. 1948), American former professional NFL and CFL football player
  • Simone McKinnis, Australian former netball player for the Australian National team, current coach of the Melbourne Vixens
  • Robert McKinnis (b. 1953), Canadian professional hockey player on Facebook