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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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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.

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.


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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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

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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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  • 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
  • James Douglas Phinney (1844-1915), Canadian lawyer, judge and politician who represented Kent County in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1887 to 1895
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
    2. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
    3. 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.
    4. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
    5. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
    6. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
    7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    8. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    9. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
    10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    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 27 November 2015 at 12:28.

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