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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish Phinney family come from? What is the Irish Phinney family crest and coat of arms? When did the Phinney family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Phinney family history?

The name Phinney originally appeared in Gaelic as O Fiannaidhe. This name, which was O Feinneadha in its earlier form, refers to a soldier.

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Numerous spelling variations of the surname Phinney exist. A partial explanation for these variants 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. Different spellings that were found include Finney, Feeney, Finnay, Finny, Fynnie, Fynney, Feenay, Feeny, Feaney, Feanay, Feany and many more.

First found in Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and where their territories were Ballyfeeney and in Roscommon. Moving north into Ulster the name became Finney. This branch also moved into southwest Scotland from about the 15th century.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Phinney research. Another 415 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1509, 1541, 1551, 1640, and 1678 are included under the topic Early Phinney History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Phinney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of Phinney:

Phinney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Isaac Phinney, who landed in New England in 1657
  • Robert Phinney, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1687

Phinney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • T K Phinney, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Phinney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Rev. John Phinney settled in Grand Bank, Newfoundland in 1866

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  • Taylor Phinney (b. 1990), American world champion racing cyclist
  • Davis Phinney (b. 1959), American former professional Olympic bronze medalist road bicycle racer, founder of the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2004
  • Archie Phinney (1903-1949), American Nez Perce Indian and anthropologist
  • David Phinney, award-winning journalist and broadcaster
  • Elizabeth "Beth" Phinney (b. 1938), Canadian former politician
  • Norman H. Phinney (1850-1919), Canadian businessman and political figure, member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1911 to 1916


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  1. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  2. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  10. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  11. ...

The Phinney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Phinney Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 25 November 2014 at 12:26.

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