THE TINNENY FAMILY HISTORY SITE
 

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CHAPTER ONE

THE TINNENY NAME

The 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.

At 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 century.

The 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.

There 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.

As of 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.

James 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.

Of 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.

On 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."

Another 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:

McItempany, 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".

Tiompanac, -aige, a., related to a tympanum, noisy, disorderly, troubled.

Sketch: The Coat of Arms for Mac an Tiompanais

As a 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 fa