Kiernan Family History
The ancient origin of the name Kiernan
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 Kiernan
include McTiernan, Tiernan and McKiernan. In the Annals of the 'Four Masters' these Irish families are mentioned no less than 33 times, nearly all of them being referred to as Chiefs of Teallach Donnchadha. They were a very important sept throughout the three centuries from 1250-1550. The name is still found chiefly in the Cavan and Leitrim area but generally without the prefix Mac. Another sept held territory in the north eastern part of Roscommon in mediaeval times, they being descended from the grandson of Turlough Mor O'Connor, King of Ireland.
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 name is also spelt in Irish MacThighearnain, which is anglicized MacKiernan.The Kiernan
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 Kiernan