Feeney Family History
The ancient origin of the name Feeney
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. 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 Feeney
include Feeny and O'Feeny. These names are derived from several Gaelic septs that were located in Connaught Province.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
The O'Fiannaidhe sept in Counties Sligo and Mayo, and the O'Fidhne sept in Counties Galway and Roscommon, both translate from Gaelic as 'soldier'. There are two places named Ballyfeeney, both in County Roscommon. The name was more numerous formerly than at present, and it appears very frequently in the Elizabethan Faints and in the census of 1659. The name is also well-known in County Derry from where hailed the renowned poet Patrick Feeney, who died in the year 1900.
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 Feeney