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Surname Kilkenney - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'K'

Kilkenney: What does the surname Kilkenney mean?

The surname Kilkenney is likely of Irish origin, derived from the city and county of Kilkenny in Ireland. The name Kilkenny itself comes from the Irish "Cill Chainnigh," meaning "Church of Canice" in reference to Saint Canice who established a monastic settlement there in the 6th century. Over time, the surname may have been anglicized to Kilkenney. Therefore, it denotes geographic association, indicating that a family or person either hailed from this region of Ireland or perhaps held significant status or land in the area. As with all surnames, variations occur due to factors such as regional dialects and spelling alterations over time. Please note that surname meanings can be speculative due to the passage of time and migration, so this should not be considered a definitive interpretation.

Kilkenney: Where does the name Kilkenney come from?

The surname Kilkenney is of Irish origin. Its root comes from the historical Irish county of Kilkenny in southeastern Ireland, one of the oldest towns in the country known for its historical landmarks and culture. The name itself could be a more modified or anglicised version of an Old Gaelic surname, typically denoting a connection with a prominent family or clan in that area.

Historically, many bearer of this surname migrated to other countries due to instances like the Great Famine in Ireland during the 19th century. As a result, descendants of the surname can be found in countries with significant Irish diaspora like the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

However, tracing a name's prevalence today may prove challenging due to spelling variations, anglicisation, and mixings with other cultures. Often, this means the last name is not overly common in any particular country. Still, you may find more individuals bearing the surname Kilkenney in areas with greater concentrations of Irish descendants worldwide.

Variations of the surname Kilkenney

The surname Kilkenney originates from the Gaelic place-name Cill Chainnigh, meaning "the Church of Kenach". It primarily describes someone from the city and the county of Kilkenny in the southeastern province of Leinster, Ireland.

The primary variant of Kilkenney is Kilkenny, which is the most common usage. Some other potential alternative spellings can include Killkenny, Kilkenni, Killkenni, Killkenney, Kylkenny, Killkenny, Kilkeney, and Killkeney, although these variations are less frequent.

It is also worth mentioning that some surnames could possibly originate or be linked to Kilkenny by translation or adoption. For instance, Kenney or Kenny could have been derived from or mistaken as variants of Kilkenny, although these names have distinct origins.

The variants and spellings of this surname can vary even more when considering geographical distribution and the impact of immigration, with a number of variations potentially emerging in places like the United States, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain. Remember that the spelling of surnames wasn't standardized until very recently, so even within the same family it could change from generation to generation.

Famous people with the name Kilkenney

  • Paul Kilkenney: Starting linebacker for the Green Bay Packers in 1983.
  • Troy Kilkenney: American baseball player who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2000.
  • Mary Kay Kilkenney: Legendary Journalist and American Author, best known for her “Why We Should Listen” books.
  • Bill Kilkenney: Leading voice actor of classic radio programs during the 1940s.
  • Danny Kilkenney: American actor best known for his roles on the television shows The Drew Carey Show and Mr. Show.
  • Chris Kilkenney: Grammy award-winning songwriter, producer, and musician.
  • Jeff Kilkenney: American photographer with works displayed in The Library of Congress, New York Times, and other publications.
  • JB Kilkenney: Irish-American writer and director, mostly of independent short films.
  • Celine Kilkenney: Former actress and music producer who starred in numerous indie films and released countless albums.
  • Jennifer Kilkenney: American 8-time National Champion freestyle skier.

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