Recorded in a number of spellings including Kinneally, Kenealy, Kennelly, Quinnelly and possibly others such as Kinally, this is an Irish surname of great antiquity. It is often confused with Connelly, and with good reason as the pronunciation, subject to local dialect, is very similar, and it is possible that they do share the same origin. Today Kinneally is regarded as being a West Cork surname, and is believed to be from the Gaelic O' Cinnfhaelidh meaning literally "Head wolf" whilst Connelly is believed to translate at "chief hound." The Connolly clan is recorded all over Ireland although its epicentre is probably County Galway.The Kinneally or Kenealy clan however originate from County Limerick, and a place called the barony of Connello, from which it is easy to see how the association with Connelly has been assumed, if it did not already exist. John Kineally of Limerick was a lieutenant in the army of King James 11nd at the battle of the Boyne in 1690, and he may be the same person who later became a colonel in the Irish Brigade of the French army some ten years later. Edmund Kenealy (1819 - 1880) was a prominent barrrister in London, whilst William Kenealy was the mayor of Kilkenny in 1870.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017