Last name: Kennedy

This is an anglicized form of an Olde Gaelic (Scots and Irish) personal/nickname 'cinneidigh or cinneide', a compound of the elements 'cinn' meaning 'head', plus 'eide' translating variously as 'grim' or 'helmeted'. Cinneide was the nephew of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland (1002 - 1014), and the surname O Cinneide (the Gaelic prefix 'O' indicating 'male descendant of') came into being in Ireland in the 11th Century. The 'Annals of the Four Masters' record an O Cinneide, Lord of Tipperary in 1159. The first recorded Scottish name bearer appears to be Gilbert Mac Kenedi who witnessed a charter in Melrose circa 1165 - 1170. (The prefix 'mac' means 'son of'). The Scottish Kennedys are by remote origin Irish Gaels. In 1296 one, Alexander Kennedy was canon of Glasgow. Duncan Kennedy, provost of Aberdeen, 1321 - 1322 was the first recorded of the name in the north east. The Kennedy's held the lands of Kermuck (Aberdeenshire) for generations. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Kennedy or Mac Kenede, which was dated 1185 - Leader of a rebellion in Galloway, during the reign of King William, The Lion of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.

John W. Kennedy
Try having my name! Traced my family ancestry back to Jesse Kennedy. Born in 1783 and married to Rose Cary, born in 1775. Both records are from Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Laura D. Kennedy

Mine are the Irish ones. :) I can't trace my family properly though. We went to the fancy library in Derry, but it said most of the records were burned in a fire in Belfast, so we can only go back around 3 generations...

takari kennedy

i think kennedy is a natrual last name for a person

Joseph Kennedy

Best name ever

Joe Kennedy
Kennedy is the best last name. No if ands or buts. Does this mean that all us Kennedys are related if we go back far enough?

Frankie-Louise Kennedy
i am so proud of my name after studying the Irish ancestry it saddens me somewhat what our ancestors went through to survive the famine etc. however here we are 200 years later...

Subscribe to our newsletter

View previous newsletters.

Powered by MailChimp