McWhinney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name McWhinney is Mac Suibhne, which is derived from the word "suibhne," which means "pleasant."

Early Origins of the McWhinney family

The surname McWhinney was first found in County Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel. The name is derived from Suibhne O'Neill, who was a chieftain in Argyll, Scotland. His descendants migrated to Ireland as gallowglasses (mercenaries) prior to 1267. The three great septs of this name finally established themselves in Tirconnell in 14th century; they were known as MacSweeney Fanad, MacSweeney Banagh, and MacSweeney na dTuath, who were commonly referred to as 'MacSweeney of the Battleaxes.' They later became attached to the MacCarthys in the south and acquired their own territories and castles in Muskerry in County Cork.

Early History of the McWhinney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McWhinney research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1299 and 1310 are included under the topic Early McWhinney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McWhinney Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname McWhinney can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include MacSweeney, MacSweeny, MacSwine, MacSwiney, MacSwyne, MacSwyny, MacWhinney, MacWhinny, MacWhinnie, MacSwiny, McSweeney, Swiney, Swinney and many more.

Early Notables of the McWhinney family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was John MacSween, a 13th-14th century nobleman who lost his lands in Scotland after the defeat of the forces and death of Alexander Og MacDonald, Lord of Islay in 1299. In...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McWhinney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McWhinney migration to the United States +

A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the McWhinney name:

McWhinney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John McWhinney, who settled in Virginia in 1805
  • Isa, and John McWhinney, who, who settled in Virginia in 1805
  • Isa McWhinney, who arrived in America in 1805 [1]
  • William McWhinney, who settled in Charleston in 1822
  • John McWhinney, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1843 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia McWhinney migration to Australia +

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

McWhinney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Andrew McWhinney (aged 27) arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Gomelza"
  • Andrew McWhinney (aged 22) arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Gomelza"
  • James McWhinney (aged 25) arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Gomelza"

New Zealand McWhinney 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:

McWhinney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Hugh McWhinney, aged 25, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865
  • Ann McWhinney, aged 23, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name McWhinney (post 1700) +

  • Thomas A. McWhinney (1863-1933), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly, 1915-23 [2]
  • Robert McWhinney, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Allegheny County, 1897-1906 [2]
  • Lidie McWhinney, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1924 [2]
  • Harry E. McWhinney, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1932 [2]
  • Ian Renwick McWhinney OC, FRCGP, FCFP, FRCP, (1926-2012), English physician and academic known as the "Father of Family Medicine" for his work at the University of Western Ontario
  • Peter J. McWhinney (1956-1993), Australian professional golfer on the Japan Golf Tour from 1993 to 1999
  • Edward Watson "Ted" McWhinney QC (1924-1993), Australian-born, Canadian lawyer, academic and politician, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra (1993-2000)

  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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