Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name O'Tierney originally appeared in Gaelic as O Tighearnaigh, which is derived from "tighearna," which means "lord."
Early Origins of the O'Tierney family
The surname O'Tierney was first found in County Mayo
(Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland
in the province of Connacht
, where their chiefs were the Lords of Carra. Over time, the name became scattered through Ireland
, but pockets of the name can still be found in most counties of Mayo and Connacht.
Early History of the O'Tierney family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Tierney research.Another 394 words (28 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early O'Tierney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Tierney Spelling Variations
Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname O'Tierney are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Tierney, O'Tierney, Tyernie, Tiernay, O'Tierny and others.
Early Notables of the O'Tierney family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early O'Tierney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Tierney family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence
began, many Irish settlers took the side of England
, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland
at this time for North America and Australia
. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name O'Tierney or a variant listed above, including: John Tiernay arrived in San Francisco in 1851; Bernard Tierney settled in Philadelphia in 1852 and 1880; James Tierney settled in Philadelphia in 1855.