Tierney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Tierney originally appeared in Gaelic as O Tighearnaigh, which is derived from "tighearna," which means "lord."

"This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Tierney.' St. Tigernath or Tierney was an Irish saint of the 6th century, and third bishop of Clogher." [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Tierney family

The surname Tierney was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where their chiefs were the Lords of Carra. Over time, the name became scattered through Ireland, but pockets of the name can still be found in most counties of Mayo and Connacht.

"There were three septs of this name in Donegal, Mayo and Westmeath but it is now scattered. " [3] "Tierney is chiefly found in Dublin, Tipperary, and Galway, a very scattered name." [4]

Early History of the Tierney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tierney research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Tierney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tierney Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Tierney dating from that time include Tierney, O'Tierney, Tyernie, Tiernay, O'Tierny and others.

Early Notables of the Tierney family (pre 1700)

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


United States Tierney migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Tierney family in North America:

Tierney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mathew Tierney, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [5]
Tierney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Tierney, who landed in America in 1811 [5]
  • Joseph Tierney, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [5]
  • Francis Tierney, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [5]
  • Hugh Tierney, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [5]
  • Andrew Tierney, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1818 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Tierney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tierney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Timothy Tierney, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1750
Tierney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Tierney, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • Margaret Tierney, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • William Tierney, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1834
  • Mr. Jeremiah Tierney, aged 35 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [6]
  • Mrs. Ann Tierney, aged 50 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Cores" departing 2nd July 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 14th August 1847 but she died on board [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Tierney migration to Australia +

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

Tierney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Matthew Tierney, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • Mr. John Tierney, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 29th September 1831, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Miss. Mary Ann Tierney, British Convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 9th March 1847, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • James Tierney, English convict from Chatham, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on March 6, 1848, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [11]
  • Mary Tierney, aged 23, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett" [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Tierney 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:

Tierney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Matthew Tierney, British settler, as the 2nd Detachment of New Zealand Corps of Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Minerva" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1847 [13]
  • Mr. Michael Tierney, (b. 1841), aged 24, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Eastern Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 4th January 1865 [13]
  • Mr. Thomas Tierney, (b. 1840), aged 33, Scottish labourer travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Wild Deer" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th March 1874 [14]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Tierney, (b. 1845), aged 28, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Wild Deer" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th March 1874 [14]
  • Mr. Patrick Tierney, (b. 1866), aged 7, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Wild Deer" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th March 1874 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Tierney (post 1700) +

  • Brian P. Tierney (b. 1957), American a former advertising and public relations executive and publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Chris Tierney (b. 1986), American soccer player
  • Maura Tierney (b. 1965), American actress, best known for her role as Abby Lockhart on the television medical drama ER
  • Lawrence Tierney (1919-2002), American actor, best known for his screen portrayals as mobsters
  • Harry Tierney (1890-1965), American composer of musical theatre
  • Gene Tierney (1920-1991), American Academy Award-nominated stage and film actress
  • Frank A. Tierney, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Coronado, California, 2004, 2008 [15]
  • Frank Tierney, American Democrat politician, Oregon Democratic State Chair, 1939 [15]
  • Francis J. Tierney, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1952, 1960, 1964; Chair of Washington County Democratic Party, 1955 [15]
  • Francis E. Tierney, American Democrat politician, Member of Iowa State House of Representatives from Webster County; Elected 1950 [15]
  • ... (Another 42 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Michael Tierney, English Fireman from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [16]
  • Mrs. Mary Tierney, American 2nd Class passenger from Vandegrift, Pennsylvania, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [17]
  • Miss Nina Tierney, American 2nd Class passenger from Vandegrift, Pennsylvania, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [17]


Suggested Readings for the name Tierney +

  • 2300 "Genealogical Charts of Descendants of John Tierney and of the Related Families" by Raymond Moran Teirney.

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  4. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 58)
  7. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 97)
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1831
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1847
  11. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anna Maria voyage to Van Diemen's Land or Port Phillip, Australia in 1848 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anna-maria/1848
  12. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARSHALL BENNETT 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/marshallbennett1852.shtml
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  16. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  17. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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