Last name: Kearns

Recorded in the spellings of Kearn, Kern, Kerne,Kerner, Kernes, and Kearns, this is a surname of multiple national origins. Confusingly it can be German, or English-Cornish, and sometimes Irish. Equally it has multiple meanings and derivations. If German and hence Anglo-Saxon (English) it probably derives from the pre 7th century word "gern" meaning desire, and usually found in the early personal names "Gernwin and Kernwin". However the surname can also be locational from the town of Kern in Germany. If Irish and possibly Cornish, the derivation is from the pre 10th century Gaelic personal name "Ceirin" which translates as "The little black one". As such it was a name given to the first chief of the clan, who was presumably dark haired or of dark complexion. Early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic charters of the medieval period include: Hainrich Kerne of Runstall near Villingen, Germany, in 1255, and Johannes Kerner of Markdorf, in 1276. A family called Kerne have been recorded in Truro, Cornwall, since at least the 16th century, whilst in Ireland the clan were in about the year 1420, in possession of the greater part of the present barony of Costello in County Mayo. An inquisition of 1609 describes them as erenaghs or hereditary holders of church property, of Killaghtee in the diocese of Raphoe, and in the census of 1659 they are also located in County Sligo. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Terry Kearns
My dad William Kearns loved to debate and was very good at it from baseball game, politics, what state had the best pizzas or hotdogs just about anything. His six daughters definitely inherited this trait from him. I'm wondering now if it's a trait of all Kearns. Lol
I wish my dad was still alive, he would have loved to join in this debate.

Ian Kearns
My brother is Alan Kearns, however we hail from Melbourne Australia. I am searching for anything on Hugh and Ellen Kearns who arrived in Australia 1869 on board the Great Britain with three children Patrick, Henry and Ellen. We still have no idea where in Ireland they are originally from, if anyone can help it would be appreciated.

cody carnes
trying to find our castle can anyone help :(

Simon
My grandmother was born in 1901 and lived all her life in County Mayo close to Castlebar, her brothers and sisters nearly all emigrated either to the UK or USA, there were and are loads of Kearns (Kearnes, Kerins etc) around that part of Mayo

alan kearns
from what i read up i think sarens sounds llike it from the middleast like saudi arabia or israel not sure though

alan kearns
well im alan kearns my family originally are from mayo and i dont think i have ever heard that abbreviation . I have done some research on my family and i can give you a number of variations which still exist today

beth
am researching my Kearns ancestors from Mayo,Ireland. could it be that when they gave their names to Census takers it was recorded as "Sarens"? just wondering. where do I find out more on my Mayo Kearns relatives? thanks! betheme@gmail.com

Jim Cairns
Thank you Bye Alan

alan kearns
it has im not very good at debates but when it comes to family surnames i have some knowledge. If you want some interesting material to read look up my mothers side o donoghue there is some good history there.

Jim Cairns
,Well Alan, maybe theres a bit of truth in what we both think Yes, a cairn is a burial place but it also represents a hill or a mound, The first Cairnes in Scotland were named after where they lived near Edinburgh, there are 2 small hills there! its all supposition and speculation but the Irish historians in the 1800s and the 1900s give me the impression that what they have included in the dictionary of the Irish language is writ in stone! I question that! Its been interesting debating with you.

alan kearns
as with the cairns thing is a cairn not a scottish kinda burial ground i think maybe they were named after that were as kearns means dark or swarthy indicating the first of the name was brown haired or tanned (which i am both ) on my mothers side i can trace my ancestry back to the tenth century maybe further back

alan kearns
well if you read alot u should no that when ireland was invaded it was never fully conquered the west was always a problem i think maybe when these places were invaded and named by the invaders then reclaimed by local irish it was probably more lodgical to keep the names instead of changing them again im not a scholar but even people in the west have different apperances and cultures than people in the rest of ireland just my theroy if im wrong im wrong

alan kearns
all i no is that borris is a town in ireland sorry

Jim Cairns
Well this is what made me doubt the Irish scholars grasp of the origins of their own language In a book in Thurlas library, the author or scholar gave the meaning of Borris as in Borris in Ossory (which goes back to 1069 with the Norman invasion with Strongbow) as meaning a borough. Is there a name in Irish called Borris that means a borough? I dont believe it! Borough is a germanic word, which derives in AngloSaxon or German as Borg, Burg, Burgh as in Hamburg, Edinburgh, Alborg, etc I read a lot about the Norman invasion of Ireland and the Templars It just happens that one of the elected Grand Masters was called Everard de Barres and Everard is common names in the Templemore area today bur de Barres sounds a lot like Borris Isnt it logical that the Templars would name their new "churches"/Temples agter their grandmast at that time! Everard de Barres - grand master from 1147- 1151 I think many of the words in modern Irish language is not original Irish!

alan kearns
o means grandson of in irish mac means son of the chances that my ancestors backed bruce is unlikely as we kept our lands until the 16th century we were erenaghs of the costolloes which were of norman decent erenagh means holders of church land making sure everything was in order rent, buildings etc...... i see were u are coming from but it dosent make much sense as most of the original kearns are still in their native lands and have been for centurys a more likely reason why cairns is over here is the ulster plantation were the name was changed to kerr i may be wrong but that my belief.

Jim Cairns
You are mighty lucky to be able to trace your kin, accurately back to the 15th century Not many can do that Im a prod, as they say in the north, married a catholic, Ill not go into that because it has been a big mistake, because of my exwife! Protestant records were largely destroyed in 1916 rebellion in Dublin records office Catholic records I believe survived intact I dont think Cairns is connected to Kerr, I havent come across any links The Cairns in the north came from Galloway, possibly in the Plantation (although I have doubts they were in them) but Im sure they came after uprisings against the English in the Stuart (Jacobite rebellions) - Bonnie Prince Charlie - Battle of Sherrifmuir The name Cairns comes from the place were the first Cairns on record lived about 1300s They could have been Norman through the female line because they were part of Norman community in Scotland at that time , they could have been the Normans that the French king banished from France in 1314 But what are the possibilities that 2 names that sound the same have 2 separate origins? And they have coincided together in Ireland since at least 1315

Jim Cairns
I believe Bruces army ranged widely through the midlands and I think he went as far as Athlone - I read about the war a while ago, remember some native Irish backed the Scots and others backed the already settled Normans! The smoke of was hides a lot! I go back to the plural aspect of the name it is not singular as in Kerin, which can be Cairn or Kern Also the O in Irish names, does this not mean of in English? Very close to the english word! where does the Irish end and the English start? I suspect many of the Irish scholars who practically rewrote the Irish language at the start of the Irish revival with the Rise of Irish nationalism in the mid 1800s, invented many names and explanations without rational cause and debate! There were few to debate the justifications at that time! Question - if you are an Irish scholar what is the origin of " Borris" as in Borris - in - Ossory, Borris-o-Kane Borris-o-Leigh? I have my own theory.

alan kearns
the kearns name is in existence because of the english the couldnt pronounce the gaelic names so changed them to english kearns until the 18th century was O Kerin which in gaelic is O Ciarian which means dark or swarthy

alan kearns
not to mention there is no letter k in the irish alphabet so the chances that cairns changed their names to kearns is highly unlikely the variations of my name come from mmany places in ireland but none from were you state they are from the likelyness of it being german to me is unlikely also

alan kearns
well my family all from west of ireland were all my kearns relations are from so unless he invaded west ireland de bruce had no influence on my family

Jim Cairns
Yes, Im sure thats true, but as I said before, Bruces army invaded Ireland Edward Bruce, younger brother of the Scottish king Robert Bruce, invaded Ireland in 1315, proclaimed himself king, and managed to take over a large part of it before being defeated by an English expeditionary force and killed in battle in 1318. http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=3249 9 So you see you could be descended from same! My grt, grt grandfather was named Kearns in Kirkinriola Ballymena Co Antrim He could have been a catholic who married a Protestant girl, or the minister/register could have been prejusticed! You see, the name Kearns or Cairns - plural makes sense Theres a reason for the plural - William de Cairnes/ However, singular Kern, Cairn, Kerin must have other roots. http://www.haskellfamilyhistory.com/cairns.html ur CAIRNS/KEARNS family were transported from Ireland for the "errors" of their ways. Originally settling in the Hunter Valley, they travelled west to Forbes and Wee Waa in NSW then north to Surat, Nanango, Normanton in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Mackay and Brisbane. Their hardship was overcome by successive generations and proudly includes two Gallipoli veterans: James Alford Raimond Cairns and William Raymond Cairns.

alan kearns
im a kearns i can trace my ancestry back to the 15th century all irish

Jim Cairns
Thank you RK stands to common sense! In olden times when few could write, names were written by different priests /scholars according how the person pronounced their names! Kunz isnt too far from Kearns/Cairnes just change the vowel. Jim Cairns

RWK
Kunz is very plausible according to my ex. RK

Jim Cairns
Hi, consider another origin more plausible! Remember back in the 13th and 14th centuries few people could spell, only the priests could and they were political to suit a national identity! Robert the Bruce of Scotland after defeating the Anglo Norman King Edward 1st at Bannockburn, he sent an army to take Ireland from the english army. Many Cairnes fought with Bruce in Ireland but they were defeated and scattered after suffering starvation. I say the remnants of the Scottish army were protected by their Irish allies and from then on the assimilated into the Irish population, becoming Kearns, Kearnes, Kernes etc I like your possible German connections but also consider the fact that in the 1400s and 1500s the Scots and the French were close allies (The Auld alliance) and sent scottish armies that fought with the French . Is it possible the Cairnes, who were minor lairds then remained in France and from there webt to Germany becoming the Kerne, Kernes, even Kunz, a possiblity! Read this book, its historical factual, written by order of wealthy Cairns .http://www.archive.org/stream/historyoffamilyo00lond/historyoffamilyo00lond_djvu.txt Jim Cairns Ireland dekarnys@inbox.com