Rooney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish surnames are all based on the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name Rooney is O Ruanaidh.

Early Origins of the Rooney family

The surname Rooney was first found in County Down (Irish:An Dún) part of the Province of Ulster, in Northern Ireland, formerly known as county St Mirren.

Early History of the Rooney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rooney research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1079 and 1288 are included under the topic Early Rooney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rooney Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Rooney were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. O'Rooney, Rooney, Roony, Roonay, Roney and others.

Early Notables of the Rooney family (pre 1700)

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


United States Rooney migration to the United States +

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 Rooney or a variant listed above, including:

Rooney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Rooney, aged 30, who arrived in Norfolk, Va in 1803 [1]
  • Brian Rooney, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811 [1]
  • John Rooney, who arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811 [1]
  • Paul Rooney, who arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811 [1]
  • Lawrence Rooney, aged 40, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Rooney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rooney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Rooney, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Neptune" in 1833
  • Bryan Rooney, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Mary Rooney, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Edward Rooney, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Nicholas Rooney, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Rooney migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Rooney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Rooney, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Owen Rooney, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [3]
  • Mary Rooney, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849 [4]
  • Ellen Rooney, aged 18, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo" [5]
  • Mary Rooney, aged 24, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Rooney migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Rooney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Rooney, (b. 1840), aged 22, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [6]
  • Mr. John Rooney, (b. 1844), aged 31, Irish labourer from Armagh travelling from London aboard the ship "Waimate" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th December 1875 [7]
  • Annie Rooney, aged 14, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
  • Jane Rooney, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
  • Teresa Rooney, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878

Contemporary Notables of the name Rooney (post 1700) +

  • Mickey Rooney (1920-2014), born Joseph Yule Jr., American Juvenile Academy Award, Honorary Academy Award, two-time Golden Globe and an Emmy Award winning film actor and entertainer
  • Daniel Milton "Dan" Rooney (1932-2017), American football executive and diplomat, 2nd Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers (2003-2017), United States Ambassador to Ireland (2009-2012)
  • Teddy Rooney (1950-2016), American actor and musician, son of Mickey Rooney
  • Sean Michael Rooney (b. 1982), American two-time gold and silver medalist volleyball player
  • John E. "Jack" Rooney (d. 2011), American businessman, President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Cellular
  • John Rooney (b. 1954), American radio sportscaster for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Andy Rooney (1919-2011), noted journalist and commentator for CBS best known for his commentary on the show "60 minutes"
  • Art Rooney (1909-1988), American founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • John J. Rooney (1903-1975), American Democratic politician from New York
  • Francis Rooney (b. 1953), former American Ambassador to the Holy See
  • ... (Another 35 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. T.  Rooney, English Fireman aboard the SS Curaca from Liverpool, England, United Kingdom who died in the explosion [8]
RMS Lusitania
  • Miss Mary Rooney, American 2nd Class passenger from Brooklyn, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [9]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1828
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Agincourt voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 226 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agincourt/1844
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The INCONSTANT the Voyage - 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Inconstant.htm
  5. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 23rd November 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Dirigo 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/dirigo1854.shtml.
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  9. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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