The Scottish surname McKinney, also found in Ireland, is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac Cionaodha or Mac Cionaoith meaning “son of Cionaodh,” a personal name which is composed of the elements cion meaning “respect, or affection” and Aodh, a Gaelic personal name, originally the name of the Celtic god of fire. The personal name thus means “beloved of Aodh.” The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nevin McKenze, which was dated 1473, in "Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer” in Scotland. Other early examples of the surname include William M'Kinnay, a charter witness in Wigtownshire in 1544, and John Mackynnay of Cray, Kirkcudbrightshire, recorded in 1546. Alexander M'Kinnie was retoured heir of Normand M'Kinnie of Knokdorie in the lands of Rosneyth in 1609. John McKinney, aged 24 yrs., arrived in New York on April 30th 1846 from Ireland. Today there are approximately 80,000 bearers of the name McKinney in the US.
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