O'Neenie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are a multitude of ancient meanings and variations associated with the Irish surnames that are now common throughout the modern world. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Neenie is O Cadhla, which is derived from the word "cadhla," which means "graceful." [1]

Early Origins of the O'Neenie family

The surname O'Neenie was first found in County Waterford (Irish: Port Láirge), anciently the Deise region, on the South coast of Ireland in the Province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. They are of the ancient kingdom of Ossory (Osraighe), conjecturally descended from the Kings and gentry of Ossory, the progenitor of which was Conla, the second son of Breasal Breac, King of Leinster, and descended to Ceallach who was ancestor of Teige McGillpatrick. [2]

"Kiely belongs mainly to Cos. Waterford and Limerick." [3]

Early History of the O'Neenie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Neenie research. Another 152 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1630, 1645, 1689 and 1863 are included under the topic Early O'Neenie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Neenie Spelling Variations

Names during the Middle Ages were typically recorded as they sounded and in many cases, one's surname spelling changed with each record. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the O'Neenie family name include Keily, Keiley, Keilly, Kiley, Kily, Kiely, Kieley, Keeley, Keely, Queally, Quealy, Quelly, O'Keily, O'Keilly, O'Kiely and many more.

Early Notables of the O'Neenie family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the O'Neenie family

Irish families began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name O'Neenie or one of its variants: William Keeley who landed in America in 1765; Dennis and Ellen Keeley settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849; Michael Keeley settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  3. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)


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