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MCKINNEY Family History

This interesting surname is of Old Gaelic origin, and is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Cionaodha", composed of the Gaelic prefix "Mac", son of, and a personal name composed of the elements "cion", respect, affection, and "Aodh", the name of a pagan god of fire. The name is chiefly found in Scotland as MacKenna, MacKinna, MacKinney and MacKinnie, particularly in Glasgow, but is also found in Ireland in the Tyrone, Fermanagh area, where some of them are of Scottish descent. The name first appears in records in Scotland inthe mid 15th Century (see below), while other early examples of the surname include William M'Kinnay, a charter witness in Wigtownshire in 1544, and John Mackynnay of Cray, Kirkcudbrightshire, recorded in 1546.

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George McKinney

My great-grandfather came over and dumped his son in an orphanage in Philadelphia (cause he was a horse stable flunky (and probably a boozer). My grandfater was a turd but his three sons were all superstars

Deb Burbo

My ancestor was Lawrence McKinney, b. abt 1843 and arrived in America in 1846. According to census records, he was born in Ireland, although I haven't been able to find any Irish records for him. He lived in Fairfield, Vermont as an adult. The cause of his death was listed as epilepsy. According to his death record, his father was Felix McKinney and his mother was Mary (no surname listed). In various Vermont records, his surname was recorded as McKinney, McKenny, McKenna, and even McCann. I do believe there was connection to McKinneys in Philadelphia, PA: one of his g-g-grandsons, Donald McKinney from Vermont, lived in Philadelphia for a few years as an adult in the mid 20th century. There were two Felix McKinneys in Philadelphia in the 1800's according to records available on Ancestry. Any information would be very helpful; this has been an impenetrable brick wall for years.

William McKinney

My Great Grandfather Robert Arthur McKinney was born about 1812 in India (location based on 1926 death certificate of son Abraham McKinney). Based on information obtained from his descendants, Robert was the son of an Irish soldier who joined England's army and served in the colonies. While stationed in India, Robert Jr. was born. Other accounts state that Robert’s father was an Irish Trooper that fought in India and Africa. When he was 24, he married Mary Matthews. The1861 Canada census shows they were married in about 1836, presumably in Ireland. Robert had two known children born in Ireland (James in 1838 and Isabella in 1840). After immigrating to Canada, they had five more children: Abraham 1845, Robert 1848, Mary 1850, William 1857 and John 1859).


My great (times 7) grandfather, William McKinney was born in 1723 in Ireland, he emigrated to New Jersey in approximately 1743 and settled on 500 acres in what is now Warren county. The McKinneys lived in this area for several generations before relocating to West Virginia. William McKinney died in 1777 and is buried (along with several family members) in the family cemetery in Broadway New Jersey.


23andMe DNA results listed Haplogroups R-BY250 and R-M269 for my brother (now deceased) state that our ancestors descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages. I presume this was through our paternal grandmother whose father was David Drew McKinney (ca. 1839-1903) in the southeastern USA. Other known paternal line ancestral surnames are Brown, May, Mercer (descended from Christopher Mercer b. 1621 in Stepney, England), and possibly Staten which appears several times as a middle name and was perhaps the surname of a May wife. Stewart/Stuart also appears as a given name in our paternal line. Known maternal line ancestral surnames are Butler, Bundrick (traced to 1600's in Germany), Fitzgerald, Lacey, and Smith. I know of no famous McKinney ancestors in the USA with the possible exception being Charles G. McKinney who reportedly fathered either 48 or 50 children with 4 women on the same farm; perhaps infamous is a better adjective than famous for him. I, however, have to date been unable to definitively link David Drew McKinney or his wife, Susan A. Brown, to any earlier ancestors and would be grateful to know if they appear among known ancestors of other McKinneys. Both David and Susan died in Jackson County, FL, USA. U. S. Federal Censuses indicate that Susan A. Brown was born ca.1850. She and David married June 1870 in Thomas County, GA according to that county's marriage records. I am curious to know if either, or both, of my brother's DNA Haplogroups appear among other McKinneys. R-BY250 appears in known descendants of the aforementioned Christopher Mercer who was reportedly descended from William Mercer and Thomas Mercer although I am uncertain whether William or Thomas was the earliest ancestor. If so, Christopher Mercer would seem to have a familial connection to the McKinneys and Mays. I believe the Mays and Mercers were Jews (perhaps not openly practicing after the Spanish Inquisition) and likely have common ancestors but began using different surnames at some point, possibly to circumvent consanguinity laws as Jews liked to marry close kin to keep the bloodline 'pure' per a Jewish website (I don't have the link). Both names appear in WW II Nazi concentration camp records, and I found an English Poll Tax record (1650 as I recall) showing a Christopher May whose occupation was listed as "the mercer." Incidentally, I am female with X2c being my Haplogroup which appears among the Druze of the Middle East and may be related to the ancient skeletal remains named Lucy which were found in Africa some years ago. Charlene Georgia, USA

Joan Sanaker

I am visiting Ireland in early December. I would love to do some genealogy research. I have traced the family to Arthur McKinney, b. 1706 in Tyrone, Northern Ireland and d. 29 August 1801. His son Matthew McKinney was born in Kingston, Ulster, New York, USA in 1745. I have not found the trail of migration. Any help is appreciated.


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