Tinneny surname is extremely rare. There are a handful of our relatives
with that name in England, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Canada and
one in India. However, the name is most common in America.
this writing, in America, there are well over 250 descendants of Big
John Tinneny of Goladuff as well as the descendents of several other
Tinnenys whose roots go back to Goladuff. With few exceptions, the
Tinnenys in America are descendants of
Yankee Pat, the son of Big John Tinneny. Patrick settled in Philadelphia at the beginning of the 20th
other Tinnenys in America can also be traced back to Goladuff. There are
a number of descendants of
Philip Tinneny of County Leitrim who
immigrated to New York in September of 1927. They live in and around New
York City, upstate New York and in Florida.
were also 3 descendants of Big John Tinneny's son Francis who lived
first in New York then in New Jersey until 1996 when they returned to
Ireland. They were Susan Brady, the great-granddaughter of Yankee Pat’s
brother Francis, her two daughters and her husband Owen Lavery.
1998 I had learned of approximately 25 descendants of Francis Tinneny,
the son of Thomas Tinneny and Bridget Gilmartin of Belturbet, in the
United States. Francis and his wife came to America in 1912 and his name
was changed to Tierney
when the nuns in
the parochial school the children said there was no such name as Tinneny that
their name was Tierney. Thereafter, the children and their parents were
known as Tierneys. I was unable to locate any of Francis’ descendents
until 1996 when after much trying I located them in New England. They
were almost lost forever among the many non-related Tierneys in America.
Davis, the son of Annie Tinneny and grandson of Tommy Tinneny of
Belturbet, lived in California as of 1996. He had seven children and
numerous grandchildren. Although not Tinnenys by name, they are all
Tinnenys by blood.
course, the names of many other Tinneny descendants in America have
changed due to marriage and in one of the family lines due to adoption.
page 284 of his classic work, The Surnames of Ireland, published by The
Irish Academic press, Edward MacLysaght the prime authority on Irish
surnames speaks to our name: "Tenneny, Tinnenny, These names
in various spellings are found in counties Cavan and Leitrim, where
Tinnelly is also found. I have not ascertained their origin. It seems
probable that they are both anglicized forms of the same Gaelic-Irish
surname, possibly Timpany."
scholarly work containing a description of the source of the Tinneny
name was found in the book Irish Family Names with Origins, Meanings,
Clans Arms Crests And Mottoes. The book, which was written by
Captain Patrick Kelly, was published by Oconnor and Kelly of Chicago in
1939 and was republished by Gale Research Company Book Tower, Detroit,
in 1976. The book contains a collection "from the living Gaelic and
from authoritative books, manuscripts and public documents."
It includes drawings of coats of arms with a brief description for each.
On page 22 of the book is the coat of arms for "Mac an
Tiompanais" and a description of the name [with variations]
to which the coat of arms applies. The description reads as follows:
McTympane, McTempane, MacAtimney, MacAtimeny, MacAtamney, MacAtaminey,
MacTimney, MacTamney, Timpany, Tympany, Tymmany, Timony, Tamney,
Tempeny, Tenpeny, Toompane, Tumpany, from the Gaelic thiompanach,
(noisy). This surname originated in Ulster. The records indicate that
it's bearers were numerous in Tyrone where they served as kern of the
army of the O Neil's. The Gaelic motto is "Uppermost".
-aige, a., related to a tympanum, noisy, disorderly, troubled.
The Coat of Arms for Mac an Tiompanais
Christmas present for me in 1991 my oldest son Christopher P. Tinneny
commissioned heraldry researcher and artist Annie H. Crenshaw to
research and to paint a Tinneny coat of arms. Ms. Crenshaw was the owner
of Southern Illuminations. Her address was 306 Government Street,
Wetumpka, Alabama 36092, S.A. She based the coat of arms that she
prepared for us on the name information and the coat of arms sketch for
Mac an Tiompanais found in Kelly's book.The following information was
generally obtained from a contemporary commercial source of family
names, The Historical Research Center,Inc. (IRC). The IRC publishes a
decorative Family Name History Certificate, which describes our name and
describes the name as a modern Anglicization of the old Irish name
O'Tiompanaigh which is literally translated "from the family of the
Tympanist." It states that the name is of occupational origin, and
belongs to the category of names based on the type of work a man did or
the profession he pursued. Musicians of the Royal Court were usually
named Tiompanaigh. They were poets and singers and entertained at the
court of the High Kings of Ireland. They wrote ballads telling of
the heroic deeds of their patrons and entertained at social gatherings
in the palaces and in the manors.Sometimes Tiompanaighs traveled from
town to town where they were generally regarded as sages who had magical
the 1600s the Irish Chieftains were deposed by the British occupation
and their lands were given to English settlers. English then became the
spoken language in Ireland and surnames were Anglicized thus --
Tinneny evolved from the medieval name O'Tiompanaigh.
To the present day in Ireland, Tinneny is translated O' Tiompanaigh in
Gaelic. Fidelma, Aisling and Kitty, the daughters of Hubert and Susanna
Tinneny of Quivvy, Belturbet in County Cavan, Ireland were all told in
their Gaelic classes that their name in Gaelic was Ni Tiompanaigh. Ni is
the prefix used with the female usage of the name.
Tinneny O' Kane, who in 1997 lived in Limavady, Northern Ireland, told
another version of the source of the name which was passed down to her
by her grandfather Thomas "Tommy" Tinneny who was raised
in Belturbet, County Cavan. Mary said that she remembered her
grandfather Tommy telling her many times that the name was one of
Viking origin and that she believed it had evolved from the Danish name
all Tinnenys have experienced, ours is a very misspelled and
mispronounced name. In some cases this is simply an annoyance. In other
instances, such as genealogical research or arriving at the port
of New York in the early 1900s, there were more bothersome and
the case of Francis Tinneny, the brother of Mary Tinneny O'Kane's father
James. When Francis and his young bride arrived at the port of New
York as immigrants in 1912, Francis said that his name was
changed. He probably stated his name to the inspector as Tinneny and the
inspector heard Tierney and wrote Tierney on his documentation.
Thereafter, Francis and his descendents, who included three sons who
served in the American Army and Air Corps during World War II,
have been known as Tierneys.
O'Kane's family corresponded with their "Tierney" cousins in
New York until the 1950s, however, their address, and they were
subsequently lost among the thousands of Tierneys living in the
United States who are not related to us until I was able to locate them
in 1996 after much research. At that time they were living in New
the course of this research I have seen quite a few variations on the
spelling of our name. In all but two of those cases, it was not
the intent of our family member to spell the name according to the
variation. A very major factor that played in the misspellings was the
lack of formal education on the part of both our Tinneny ancestors
and the church or town clerks and other officials who recorded their
names in various records.
are some common variations found in church and civil records in
Scotland, and in Counties Cavan and Fermanagh in Ireland and in British
government records in Belfast. In each case the person referred to
in the records was a Tinneny. The misspellings found were:
Tinniny, Tinenny, Tinnaney, Tinnen, Tinnany, Tineny, Tierney,
Tinnany, Tinney, Tinnery.
Tinnenys such as Daniel and
Wallace Tinneny, the great-grandsons of Big
John Tinneny of Goladuff, had their names changed in their youth.
After their father
Patrick Tinneny, the youngest son of Yankee
Pat, died in Philadelphia, their mother Anna remarried. The two boys
were adopted by their stepfather and took his family name, which
was Klebes. Although this line continues in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
and upstate New York through Yankee Pat's grandson, Daniel Klebes and
his children, over time their descendants will not be easily
recognizable as Tinnenys.
the other hand Patrick Tinneny, the son of
Francis Tinneny and Anne
Elliott, who was born in Belturbet, County Cavan, Ireland in the mid
1800s and lived out his adult life in Helensburgh, Scotland, spelled his
name Tinnany. Although his parents, brothers and sisters all used
the traditional spelling of the name, for reasons unknown, he and
all of his descendants in Scotland, spelled their name with the
"a". Maybe the same thing happened to him that happened to
Francis Tinneny (Tierney).