Ternes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a proud, ancient past. The original Gaelic form of the name Ternes is Mac Tighearnain, which is derived from the word tighearna, which means "lord."

Early Origins of the Ternes family

The surname Ternes was first found in County Cavan, at Tullyhunco where the "Annals of the Four Masters" show no fewer than 33 Tiernans. Almost all were Chiefs of Teallach Donnchadha. Despite their high ranking, their exploits were not well documented from 1250-1550. One must presume that they ruled with compassion and understanding and were amiable to their fellow man. The "Mac" prefix of the name is typically spelt "MacTernan" or "McTernan" and is usually found in the Cavan- Leitrim area of Ireland.

Ternan or Terrenan (d. 431?), was Archbishop of the Picts. "According to his legend he went to Rome, where he spent seven years under the care of the pope, was appointed archbishop of the Picts, and returned to Scotland with the usual accompaniment of miraculous adventures. He died and was buried at Banchory on the river Dee, which was named from him Banchory Ternan. His day in the calendar is 12 June, and the years given for his death vary from 431 to 455. " [1]

Early History of the Ternes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ternes research. Another 40 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 180 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Ternes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ternes Spelling Variations

A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name Ternes include Tiernan, Tierman, Ternan, Kiernan and others.

Early Notables of the Ternes family (pre 1700)

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


United States Ternes migration to the United States +

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Ternes name:

Ternes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Christian Ternes, who arrived in North America in 1887 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ternes (post 1700) +

  • Wayne C. Ternes, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Montana State Senate 43rd District, 2010
  • Herman Ternes, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Dubuque, Iowa, 1909-13, 1921-33


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. 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)


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