Ó Cearnaigh: Bhí clann airchinnigh i nDoire. Carney/Kearney: an erenagh family in Derry
This clann is a branch of the Uí Néill and were at various times coarbs or erenachs of Derry. Several are mentioned in the Irish Annals. In the Annals of the Four Masters for the year 1096: “Eoghan Ua Cearnaigh, airchinneach of Doire, died on the eighteenth of the Calends of January.”
Another mentioned is Gille Críost Ó Cearnaigh who was Abbot and Coarb of St. Columba (St. Colm Cille) at Derry. Annals of Ulster entry for 1198: “Gilla Mac Liac Ua Brenan put the succession away from him and Gilla-Crist Ua Cernaigh by choice of laity and clergy of the North of Ireland was ordained in his stead in the abbacy of Colm-cille.” The same event is mentioned in Annals of the Four Masters: “Gillamacliag O'Branan resigned his abbacy; and Gilchreest O'Kearney was elected coarb of St. Columbkille by the universal suffrages of the clergy and laity of the north of Ireland.”
Historical varients in Donegal: O'Carnie (1609), O'Carney (1659), O'Kairney (1665), O'Kearny (1665), and Cairney (1743). Many went to Glasgow in the 19th century.
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