Tenny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tenny originated among the descendants of the ancient Pictish clans. It is derived from the personal name Dennis. Tenny is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Some patronyms were formed from the personal names of the father of the bearer, while others came from prominent religious and secular figures. The surname Tenny was first established in Lancashire, prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Tenny family

The surname Tenny was first found in Stirlingshire at Denny, a town and parish. "This place, of which the name, derived from the Gaelic Dun, is descriptive of its situation on an eminence, originally formed part of the parish of Falkirk, from which it was separated about the year 1618. A considerable portion of the parish appears to have belonged to an establishment of Knights Templars which probably existed here or in the immediate vicinity, and the land is still known by the appellation of Temple-Denny. " [1]

Early History of the Tenny family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tenny research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1424, 1634, 1676, 1501 and 1549 are included under the topic Early Tenny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tenny Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name Tenny include Denny, Denney, Dennie, Denie, Denye, Deanney, Deannie and many more.

Early Notables of the Tenny family (pre 1700)

Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tenny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Tenny family to Ireland

Some of the Tenny family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tenny migration to the United States +

Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of Tenny:

Tenny Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Tenny, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1638 [2]
Tenny Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Agneta Tenny, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [2]
Tenny Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary Tenny, aged 25, who arrived in America, in 1892
  • John Tenny, aged 45, who arrived in America, in 1893
  • Mr. Robert C. Tenny, aged 29, who arrived in America, in 1895
  • J. M. Tenny, aged 35, who arrived in America from London, England, in 1895
Tenny Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Victor Tenny, who arrived in America, in 1903
  • Bertha Tenny, who arrived in America, in 1903
  • S. M. Tenny, aged 33, who arrived in America, in 1905
  • Mark W. Tenny, who arrived in America, in 1906
  • Eliz. Lydia Tenny, aged 33, who arrived in America from London, England, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Tenny migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tenny Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Asa Tenny U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]

New Zealand Tenny 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:

Tenny Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Tenny, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Northfleet" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand, Via Wellington and Lyttleton in February 1854 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tenny (post 1700) +

  • Bill Tenny, American cameraman, known for his work on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996) and Used Cars (1980)
  • J. B. Tenny, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1856
  • Allen Tenny, American politician, Member of Connecticut State Senate 8th District, 1873
  • John Tenny Jordan (1832-1886), American politician, Mayor of Seattle, Washington, 1871-72, 1873; Appointed 1873 [5]


The Tenny Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Et mea messis erit
Motto Translation: My harvest will also arrive.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, March 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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