Origin of the Name Cunningham
The ancient history of the name Cunningham
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Variants of Cunningham include Conaghan. The Cunninghams trace their descent from Warnebald who settled in the district of Cunningham, Ayrshire, Scotland and obtained the manor of the name before 1162, and took his surname from the land. His grandson founded the Cunninghams of Glengarnock, and his grandson in turn was the ancestor of Cunningham of Polmaise. Sir Robert Cunningham swore fealty to King Edward I of England in 1296, and left two sons, from the younger of whom came the Cunninghams of Drumquhassel, Ballindalloch, Balbougie, and Banton. In Ireland Cunningham is used as the anglicized form of at least twenty different surnames including Cunnegan and Kinnegan. It can be of immigrant origin, especially in Ulster Province, but is also derived from the native Gaelic O'Connachain Sept of Counties Donegal and Derry, often anglicized as Conaghan.
The Cunningham coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Cunningham descendants.