The family of ABERNETHY were a branch of the Scottish clan Leslie, and have been established in North Ulster since the first half of the seventeenth century. The name is well known in East Cork, where it was taken early by settlers from Scotland.
The first of the Abernethies on record, is Hugh, who appears to have died about the middle of the 12th century. His son Orm, succeeded his father as lay abbot. He appears as witness to a charter circa. 1162.
Between 1189 and 1196 King William the Lion granted the church of Abernethy to the Abbey of Arbroath, while about the same time, Lawrence de Abirnythy conveys to the monks and the church of Arbroath, his whole right of money, whilst he retained the lands and position of lord of Abernethy. The family appear from old records to have occupied the position of lay abbotts in the Culdee Monastry of Abernethy in Strathearn. One David de Albirnyth appears as the vicar of Drisdale in the year 1320, and William de Abrenythe made a gift of the mill of Ulkeston ( now Oxton ) to another man. John of Abrenethy, a knight of Scotland, was granted safe conduct to travel into England in 1399, and George Abrnnete, merchant of Scotland, had a similar safe conduct in 1465. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.
Ulster King of Arms in 1884
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