Clan Henebry Association TM

Henebry/Henneberry Families from the Irish counties of
  Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford

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Online Since March 1995


Spelling of the Surname

The spelling of the surname Henebry has changed over many years.  The letters "n" and "r" and "e" have been added in various fashions.  
add one "e" Henebery
add one "n" Hennebry
add one  "e" & one "r" Heneberry
add one "n", one "r"  & one "e" Henneberry

    The Moultrie County death certificate for James is spelled Henneberry.   The marriage certificate of 1862 is spelled Henebry.  The death certificate for his wife, Elizabeth is spelled  Henebery, and their  gravestone is spelled Heneberry.  Ship's manifests from the 1840's listed the name as Henebry, Heneberry and Henerbry.  Landowner records  in Ireland also have different spellings of the surname.  Griffith's Valuation of Ireland, 1848-1864 lists 17 Henebry's, 3 Henebery's and 15 Heneberry's.   The Catholic Church in Bethany is spelled as St. Isadore and as St. Isidore. The Grundy County Illinois census lists the surname as: Henebry in 1850, Heneberry in 1870, Henneberry in 1880 and Hennebry in 1900.   Ship's clerks, census takers, newspaper reporters and others appear to have used "phonics" to spell names and places.  Dates and obituaries were also subject to errors.

    The first Hennebery in Ireland is "claimed"  to be Lord Philip Hennebery, an English landowner.  He had a castle and land in County Meath outside of Dublin in the 13th century.  Philip de Hynteberge (de Hindeberg)  was lord of the manor of Rath, County Dublin, in 1250.  He was part of the Norman military aristocracy sent to control Ireland.   The family, later called Hanebry, migrated to Counties Kilkenny and Waterford. They are chiefly found in the latter county to-day, though the name is not common. Father Richard Henebry (1863-1916) was a foremost Gaelic scholar and collector of Irish music.  Irish sounding names such as Henebry, Gogan and O'Dell are quite common in Ireland, yet none of them are of Gaelic origin.  Henebry is one of the best known of the Norse/Norman names that has become naturalized by long association with Ireland.  The surname became known as de Hionburgha in Gaelic and became anglicized to  Henebry/Hanebry/Henneberry in the 15th century. 
   Source:  MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1991. pages 21, 193, 204.

    We have a record for Maurice Henebry of County Limerick, the Diocese of Cashel.  His will was made in 1739 and probated in 1760.   William Henebry (1760-1830) is buried near Galbally in County Limerick.

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Province of Munster.  Henebry Family.  Surname indicates Norman origin.

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Origin of the Henneberry Surname

        As with most genealogy searches, disagreements regarding the origin of the surname is common.  Some accounts indicate the family came from Germany to Ireland.  Irish Roots Magazine indicates an emigration of Palatine Germans to the Limerick/Tipperary about 1709.  There is a village in the Palatinate called Henneberg.  Henry Hennebery and his wife Mariah, both from Germany, were living in Franklin County, MO from the 1850 census.     See the Norman invasion of 1169 for De'Alton or D'Alton and others.   Also research the old Gaelic Surnames of Henry.   The surname is also claimed to be De Hindeberg from Denmark in a Germanic form.   After the English occupation of Ireland in the 12th century, many Irish surnames were required to be changed to English names.  In 1465, the English King Edward IV demanded all Irish  take a surname of an English town such as Sutton, London and perhaps Henbury. 

     After the defeat of the Stuart forces by William of Orange during the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, the Irish forces continued to fight the English.  The Irish were defeated at the Battle of Limerick, and The Treaty of Limerick in 1691 gave the Irish army the option to sail to France.  Over twenty thousand Irish soldiers left for France and fought in European armies over the next 200 years.  Several of the soldiers came from the Galbally area of County Limerick.  The "Wild Geese"  often returned to Ireland with European wives.   These Henebrys and others were not German, Spanish or Danes, rather they were Irish returning to their native land. 

Hennebry Photo Shop in Waterford Ireland (June 2001)

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    The Viking Origin of the Surname:

    By the early 700's, the Vikings' ship building technology had developed the capability to allow masts and sails on their ships.  This advancement allowed them to travel farther distances, and they begin attacks on Ireland in 795.  The native Irish did not build towns.  It was the Vikings who established Dublin and Limerick and other towns and villages in Ireland.  The Vikings (Norsemen) were often called Danes by the Irish, but the majority were Norwegian.  The land of the Vikings was called "Lochlann". 

    During the 9th century, the Vikings had established strongholds in Ireland.  A village called Cu was located near Galbally in County Limerick and the Cussen surname may be linked to the early Vikings.  Galbally (An Gallbhaile) in Irish, means the foreigner's town.  Although most of the Vikings were from Norway, some  were from Denmark, and they settled near Limerick in the 9th century.  The Gaelic term for the Danes was "Dubh-gall" or dark foreigner, and the term for the Norwegians was "Finn-gall" or fair foreigner.  Galbally: bally = (Townland) and Gall =  (foreigner) = Townland of the Foreigners.  The Vikings (Norseman) settled in Ireland married into Gaelic families and adopted the native language, religion and customs.  These Gaelic-Vikings fought their distant relatives a few hundred years later during the Norman invasion.

    The Normans were Vikings who established settlements in France during the late 9th century.  The consistent attacks on the Franks  in 888 provided opportunities for new settlements in what later became known as Normandy.   The medieval Latin name for Viking is "Northmannus" and the name for Normandy is "Northmannia" (Viking Land).

    William the Conqueror (a Norman duke) defeated the Anglo-Saxon forces at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and assumed the English throne.   The Norman invasion of Ireland started in 1169 and within the next century, they controlled 75% of the country.  The majority of Irish towns were established by the Normans who spoke Norman-French.  The province of Munster became one of the most predominant French (Norman) settlements outside of France.  Galbally is located within Munster.   These Norman-Vikings were probably related to some of the Gaelic-Vikings who had been there for over 200 years.  The Normans, like the Norseman before them, intermarried with the Irish and also adopted the language and customs of the Gaels.  This led to the Statutes of Kilkenny in 1366 which prohibited the families of the Anglo-Normans from intermarriage with the native Irish or the adoption of Irish surnames, language and customs.  The first Irish were neolithic users of flint and then bronze.  About 350, the Gaelic Celts from southern France and Spain conquered Ireland.  The Celtic traditions and culture have held on longer in Ireland than any other country, and the Vikings and Normans became absorbed into the Gaelic world.   Bibliography

    The surname de Hindeberg or de Hynteberge  would seem to have roots from the Viking-Norman-Frank surnames.  This name appears in Ireland by 1250, and when translated to Irish became Henebry/Henneberry.    

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The Anglo-Saxon origin of the surname: Another view.

       The English origin of Henneberry follows below.

        Serious research would indicate the surname, Henneberry, has a well-authenticated Anglo-Saxon origin.  Any European origins would be speculative at best.    The most reasonable answer would appear to be the name of the town as a surname.  See the town of Broadhembury, England.  Examples:  Jack from/of  London - Jack London; William from/of  Atberry - Bill Atteberry.

    Please contact us if you have further information on the surname:  Email  webmaster

Source: Elsdon C. Smith, New Dictionary of American Family Names, Harper & Row, New York,
1956/1973, page 226.

Henneberry (English) One who came from Henbury (high fort), in Gloucestershire.

Henn (English) Descendant of Henn, a pet form of Henry (home rule); dweller at the sign of the hen or wild bird.

The history of this ancient Sussex family traces its ancestry as a family of Anglo Saxon origin before the year 1100 and appears first in the ancient records in Sussex .

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Source: Elsdon C. Smith, American Surnames, Chilton Book Company, Philadelphia, 1969, pages 230-231.

Other terminations are the -burg endings, from Old English beorg and Old Norse berg, often spelled -brough, -borough, -bury, even -berry, usually meaning "a fortified place," later "a town," as in Yarbrough "earth" and Henneberry "high."

There are many with the suffix -bury, the same names often being also with the suffix -berry, which contains a mans name as the first element, as Dewberry, "Davids fort." Names which indicate the material used in building the fort are Woodbury, "wood," Stansbury, "stone."

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Source: P. H. Reaney, The Origin of English Surnames, Barnes & Noble, New York, 1967, page 44.

Some common place-name elements are weakened when final and unstressed and were re-spelled in a way which often disguises their origin; these weakened forms were then often confused and incorrect forms substituted. For instance, the Somerset surnames, Hembra, Hembrow, Hembry, Hembury and Hennebry may derive from Emborough, Broadhembury, two Devon places called Hembury or Henbury, all from burh (fort) or from two other Deven places named Henborough, both from beorh (hill).

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Source: Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames, Oxford University Press, 1988, page 85.

Bury, English: habitation name or topographic name, ultimately from the dat. case, byrig, of OE burh, fortified place, originally used after a preposition (e.g. Richard atte Bery. As inflections were lost in ME, derivs of the OE dat. replaced the OE norm., the word taking such forms as biri, berie and burie. In ME it denoted a fortified manor house, and the surname was used for someone who lived near a manor house or as an occupational name for someone employed in a manor house. The word also came to denote a fortified town, and is therefore a habitation name from any of various places so named. From this sense developed the modern English work borough.

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The History and Coat of Arms of the Henebry family:  Click for Coat of Arms.

Two coat of arms are claimed.  The first consists of three gold horns and a gold chevron separating them on a red background.  The second depicts a tree on the top half of the crest with a gray deer shown below.

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Henley/Hensley : English Place name...Originating in Suffolk and Warwickshire, from Old English heah meaning high + OE leah meaning wood/clearing. A Henley or Hensley would be one who lived near the high clearing in the woods.

Henson is an English patronymic name derived from the Middle English given name Henne, which was a shortened form of Henry. Henn is the surname commonly associated with the name, with Henson as a patronymic form. Henkin is a diminutive form.

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Hembury Surname:  English

Hemm and boerg:  "from the borders of the large hills" Anglo-Saxon.  Hemburys and other variations of the name can be found in records for the South West of England from the 13th century.  Many of these are concentrated around Hembury Hill in Devon, but there are many more in Somerset which is home to the Mendip Hills.

One theory is the name originated with Germanic (Viking) invaders who spread across Europe in the 8th and 9th centuries.  Somerset was the stronghold of the Saxon King Alfred who defeated the Danes helping to establish the Saxon Kingdom.  Alfred's base was in the marshland of the Somerset levels. The treaty to end the was was signed at Wedmore ("place of the pact") in North Somerset.  Church records for Wedmore show many Hemburys over the centuries.  Many variations of the name still exist in the area today. The port of Bristol is only twenty miles to the north and considerable trade was conducted with the southern Irish ports such as Cork.

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The United States Census Bureau for 1990 lists a frequency distribution of surnames.
Below is the surname rank for the index of 88,799 names:

Henneberry:  72, 036 Kinney:  921
Dunn:  160 Magner:  11, 347
Foley:  692 Hayes:  100
Nolan:  741 O'Brien:  281


Listings in the Golden Pages Phone Directory for Ireland in Feb. 2000

Surname Listings Surname Listings
Frewen mostly in Aherlow 16 Fruin none
Cussen 98 Cushing none
Henebry 19 Henneberry 8
Hennebery 3 Heneberry none
Dunn 46 Dunne 3150
Dempsey 1097 Magner 75
Delahunty 140 McCabe 1099
Bresnan 25    


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  For privacy reasons, NO information is provided on any living members of the Henneberry family.  Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information.  Birth, death and marriage certificates from various County Clerk's offices have been obtained.  Census records and obituaries have been researched.  As with most genealogy searches, confusing and conflicting information exists such as spelling of first and last name, ages and dates of birth.

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