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Cooney


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The Shield is: Vert, a dexter hand couped apaumee and in chief an arrow fessways argent.
The Crest is: A castle triple-towered proper.
The Motto is: "Fortis et fidus", 'Brave and trusty'.
Origin: Ireland
Variant spellings for Cooney are: O' Conney, Coony, Coonahan, Coonihan, Coonan, Coumey, and Cooihan.
Gaelic spellings: "O'Cuana" and "O'Cuanaich", meaning 'handsome', 'elegant'.

The O'Cooney family is found earliest in the north of Ireland in Co. Tyrone. O'Dugan cities O'Cuanaich or O'Cooney as a clan of Tir Eogan (Tir Owen) in the 12th century. O'Hart gave O'Cooney, along with O'Bailey as a chief of Clan Fergus, amoung the Irish clans of Tir Owen.

The family is next found relocated in the province of Connaught, in the townland of Ballycooney, Loughrea barony, in Co. Galway. From here they spread into Co. Clare and the name is found widespread in Ireland today.

Other family names have been changed into Cooney as well, accounting for some of its popularity. Both Coonihan and Coumey, the latter mainly of Co. Cork, have been changed into Cooney.

The name can be found in the diocese of Elphin, for here Dearmid O'Cuana is found as the 'great priest of Elphin'.

In the census of 1659 by Sir William Petty, "Cooney (9) is found as a principal name in the Upper & Lower Tulla, Clare, and by 1890 it is found centered in Mayon and Dublin.

In modern times the Cooneys have not been prominent. The most noteworthy person of the name was Mary Cooney, an Irish poetess who had a reputation in America as well as in Ireland in the 1880's.

Arms for the name are found on plate 253 in the Irish Book or Arms.

Sources: Family Heritage Shop

The Book of Irish Families Great & SmallIrish Families: Their Names, Arms, and Origins
Michael C. O'LaughinEdward MacLysaght
1997 Irish Genealogical FoundationIrish Academic Press Limited 1991

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