The Clan/Sept History
All Irish surnames have a long, ancient Gaelic history behind them. The original
Gaelic form of the name Kinneally is O Cinnfhaolaidh, which is derived from
"ceann," which means "head," and "faol," which means "wolf."
The spelling of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was rarely consistent.
This inconsistency was due to the scribes and church officials' attempts to
record orally defined names in writing. The common practice of recording names
as they sounded resulted in spelling variations such as Kinneally, Kinealy,
Kinnelly, Kinnelley, Kinneley, Kinelly, Kinelley, Kenealy, O'Kinnealy,
O'Kinnelly, O'Kinelly, O'Kinneley, O'Kennelly, O'Kenelly, Kennelly, Kenelly,
Kennealy, Keneally, O'Kennealy, O'Kenneally, Quinelly, O'Quinelly, O'Quinelley,
Kenneallagh, Keneallagh, Kenealagh, O'Kenealagh, O'Kenealagh, Kinneary, Kineary,
O'Kinneary and many more.
First found in Limerick, where they were anciently seated as chiefs in the
barony of Connello, from olden times up to the 12th century when they were
dispersed by the Anglo Norman invasion by Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke in
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish migrating out of their homeland in a
great measure due to the oppressive imperial policies of the English government
and landowners. Many of these Irish Families sailed to North America aboard
overcrowded passenger ships. By far, the largest influx of Irish immigrants to
North America occured with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These
particular immigrants were instrumental in creation of the United States and
Canada as major industrial nations because the many essential elements such as
the roadways, canals, bridges, and railways required an enormous quantity of
cheap labor, which these poor immigrants provided. Later generations of Irish in
these countries also went on to make valuable contributions in such fields as
the arts, commerce, politics, and education. Extensive research into immigration
and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants bearing the name
Kinneally: Michael Kinneary arrived in Philadelphia in 1873; John Kennelly
arrived in Virginia 1774; John Kennelly arrived in Quebec in 1825 and later
moved to Lindsay, Ontario. Patrick and Mary Kennelly arrived in Boston Mass in
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