Irish surname search
The name Jennings is the modern anglicized form of Mac Sheoinin, pronounced MacKeoneen, and written MacIonyn, MacJonine etc. in the records up to the middle of the seventeenth century. It is not, however, of true Gaelic origin being a surname adopted by a branch of the Burkes of Connacht, descended from Seoinin (or Little John) Burke. Jennings, of course, is itself a common indigenous English surname and some people in Ireland so called may well be of English origin; but it is safe to say that in Connacht, where the name is chiefly found to-day, they are of the Burke stock. At the time of the Composition of Connacht (1585) they held extensive lands in the baronies of Dunmore, Co. Galway, and Kilmaine, Co. Mayo. One of the family John Jennings, alias Burke, was Archbishop of Connacht (I.e Tuam) 1441-1450. The family produced a number of distinguished soldiers. Charles Jennings (1744-1799), who assumed the name of Kilamine from his ancestral home, is regarded as the greatest Irish soldier of the French revolutionary period; his brother Father James Jennings suffered a long imprisonment during the French Revolution; and two others David and Patrick Jennings were officers in the Irish Brigade. Sir Patrick A. Jennings (1830-1897), Governor of New South Wales, was born at Newry.