Show ContentsPhinney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Phinney family

The surname Phinney was 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.

Early History of the Phinney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Phinney research. Another 98 words (7 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Phinney Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Phinney family (pre 1700)

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

Phinney Ranking

In the United States, the name Phinney is the 8,800th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Phinney migration to the United States +

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 [2]
  • Robert Phinney, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1687 [2]
Phinney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • T K Phinney, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]

Canada Phinney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Phinney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Phinney (post 1700) +

  • Colonel Edmund Phinney, American officer, eponym of Phinney's Regiment, also known as the 12th Massachusetts Regiment and the 18th Continental Regiment
  • Archie Phinney (1904-1949), Nez Perce Indian and an anthropologist
  • William Phinney (b. 1824), American Union Navy sailor in the American Civil War, recipient of the Medal of Honor, for his actions at the Battle of Mobile Bay
  • Joseph Warren Phinney (1848-1934), American printer, type designer, and business executive
  • Elihu Phinney (1756-1813), American first printer in Cooperstown, New York, some claim that James Fenimore Cooper learned the art of setting type in his shop
  • David Phinney, American award-winning journalist and broadcaster
  • Archie Phinney (1903-1949), American Nez Perce Indian and anthropologist
  • Davis Phinney (b. 1959), American former professional Olympic bronze medalist road bicycle racer, founder of the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2004
  • Taylor Phinney (b. 1990), American world champion racing cyclist
  • Frank B. Phinney, American Republican politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives Twenty-Fourth Suffolk District, 1923-24
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0 on Facebook