Last name: Finney
Recorded as Feeney, Fenney, Finney and Finnie, this is a famous Irish surname. It derives from a pre 10ty century Gaelic name O' Fiannaidh, which was composed of the elements O' meaning a male descendant, and Fianna - a soldier. The main O' Fiannaidh clan was located in the parish of Easkey, County Sligo, whilst a smaller sept known as the Feeneys, who write their name O' Fidhne in Irish, resided in County Galway. The name is very numerous in Connacht and the clan have given their name to Ballyfeeny in County Roscommon. The first element bally comes from the word "baile" meaning a town. Early examples of the surname recording include Mary, the daughter of John Fenney who was christened on April 9th, 1654 at Acton by Nantwich, Cheshire, whilst Thomas Phennah was christened on March 7th 1742 at Churton Heath, also in Cheshire. The name was probably introduced into England by Irish immigrants looking for work in the major cities in England, whilst Michael Finney, aged 32, left Liverpool for New York on board the ship "Marmion" on November 28th 1846, during the infamous Potato Famine of 1846 - 1848. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Teag O' Feinneadha which was dated circa 1603 in the Annals of the province of Connacht. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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I'm black too, yet I have this last name which is odd. I doubt that one of my ancestors were owned by an irishman though, because I assumed that they were being oppressed and forced into indentured servitude around that time. :p
I am a little blown away to see that there is a Finney DNA project. I have looked for information on the Finney line and I was always told that contrary to the more obvious, we were not of Irish decent. My father Richard told me some time that he traced back to a Belgian heritage. I think maybe this was later in the evolution of the Finney family. Does this make sense?
My dad's sides surname is Finney and my grandad is full Irish and lived there when he was young.I asked him one day if our surname is common and he responded saying "yes darling very common in Irland,I knew a lot of people with the same surname as me.IDont come across it much now though now that I moved to England". Just to say my grandad and family are all white and I have a large family knowing many of my relatives,and some still are living in Irland but some live all the way in Australia.
I've joked about being half Hispanic and half Irish, but in reality, I'm African American. I'm curious to know if I truely do have an Irish background.