Neenan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

All Irish surnames have a unique and often romantic meaning. The name Neenan originally appeared in Gaelic as O Nuadhain. The original Gaelic form of the name was O hIonmhaineain, which was originally derived from "ionmhain," meaning "beloved."

Early Origins of the Neenan family

The surname Neenan was first found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

"The name Noonan occurs chiefly in Cork, in which county the O'Noonans formerly dwelt.O'Noonan was a Chief in Duhallow Barony, and there were O'Noonans in Barrymore and Kinalea Baronies." [1]

Early History of the Neenan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Neenan research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1341 are included under the topic Early Neenan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Neenan Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name Neenan revealed spelling variations, including Noonan, O'Nunan, O'Noonan, Nunan, Neenan and others.

Early Notables of the Neenan family (pre 1700)

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


United States Neenan migration to the United States +

Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Neenan:

Neenan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Harry Neenan, aged 3, who settled in America, in 1902
  • Maggie Neenan, aged 18, who landed in America from Kilrush, in 1902
  • James Neenan, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from Kilrush, in 1904
  • Annie Neenan, aged 27, who settled in America from Kerry, in 1904
  • John Neenan, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States from Ireland, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Neenan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Neenan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Bridget Neenan, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Bee" departing 17th April 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 12th June 1847 but she died on board [2]
  • Mr. Dennis Neenan, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Agnes" departing 10th April 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but he died on board [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Neenan (post 1700) +

  • Rev. William B. Neenan SJ, vice president and special assistant to the president at Boston College, eponym of The William B. Neenan, SJ, Millennium Chair in Economics
  • Audrie J. Neenan (b. 1950), American actress, best known for her playing judges in the TV series Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • Joseph Patrick "Joe" Neenan (b. 1959), retired English professional footballer


  1. ^ Matheson, Robert E., Special Report on Surnames in Ireland with Notes as to Numeric Strength, Derivation, Ethnology, and Distribution. Dublin: Alexander Thom & Co., 1894. Print
  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. 91)


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