Cunningham Family History
ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Cunningham
include Conaghan. The Cunninghams trace their descent from Warnebald who settled in the district of Cunningham, Ayrshire, Scotland and obtained the manor of the name before 1162, and took his surname from the land. His grandson founded the Cunninghams of Glengarnock, and his grandson in turn was the ancestor of Cunningham of Polmaise. Sir Robert Cunningham swore fealty to King Edward I of England in 1296, and left two sons, from the younger of whom came the Cunninghams of Drumquhassel, Ballindalloch, Balbougie, and Banton. In Ireland Cunningham is used as the anglicized form of at least twenty different surnames including Cunnegan and Kinnegan. It can be of immigrant origin, especially in Ulster Province, but is also derived from the native Gaelic O'Connachain Sept of Counties Donegal and Derry, often anglicized as Conaghan.The Cunningham
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Cunningham