Origin of the Name Kearns
The origin of the name Kearns
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Kearns
include O'Kerin, Kearn and Kerrane. This Gaelic sept, known in Irish as O'Ceirin, was in early times in possession of the greater part of the present barony of Costello, County Mayo, of which their Chiefs were paramount. During the mediaeval period their influence waned somewhat though they still remained in their native habitat and also spread into the neighbouring Counties. An inquisition of 1609 describes them as the erenaghs of Killaghtee, in the diocese of Raphoe. In the census of 1659 we find them in County Sligo. It is in County Mayo that they are still numerous today. Another sept anglicized their name as Kerin or O'Kerin. Kearon in Wicklow and Kerrane in Mayo are among the several other variants of these names, which are today quite widespread throughout Ireland .
The Kearns 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 Kearns descendants.