Kincheloe Coat-of-Arms
Kincheloe Coat-of-Arms

The Kincheloe coat-of-arms has been a subject of much dispute and
curiosity.   With an understanding of the Irish roots of the surname,
however, it becomes clear that the most ancient arm associated with the
family is that one listed in Burke's General Armory of England, Scotland,
Ireland, and Wales (1984).  The main entry is as follows:

"O'Cinsallagh (a Sept descended from Enna Cinnsallagh, son of Dermont McMurrough, last King of Leinster, d.1171, and brother
of Donel Caomhnagh, ancestor of the Kavanaghs.   This sept
possessed a territory in the north of the co. Wexford, known as
Hy Cinsallagh, extending from the bounds of the county at
Wicklow to the O'Morchoe's territory.)   Ar. a fess gu. betw. in
chief two garbs of the last, and in base a lion pass. sa."
This coat of arms, the most ancient one associated with the family, is
pictured below.  The same arm is described in Burke's Armory for the
surname, "Kinsellagh."   This arm in the present day is commonly referred
to as the "Kinsella" coat-of-arms because that is the most common spelling of the Cheinnselaig surname in modern Ireland.  It is equally the "Kincheloe" coat of arms, however  ~~ "Kincheloe" being simply one variant spelling of the ancient surname, just as "Kinsella" is another.

Burke lists another coat-of-arms for the name Kinsellagh, as well. This arm was confirmed by Roberts, Ulster, 1647, to Edmund Kinsellagh, gent., of the city of Dublin.  The heraldic description of this later arm is as follows:

"Vert two lions ramp. combatant or, armed and langued gu. on a
chief quarterly of the second and sa. an eft or lizard pass. ppr.
Crest ~~ a demi eft or lizard salient ppr."
This coat-of-arms would have been the property only of Edmund Kinsellagh and his heirs.

The best contender for a more recent Kincheloe coat-of-arms is that one
published by L.D. McPherson as a color plate in his work on Kincheloe
genealogy.   We know that the coat-of-arms associated with the
McPherson book is of relatively recent origin, due to the complexity of the
imagery employed in its design.   Heraldry offices in Scotland, Ireland, and
England, however, have been unable to locate any documentation for this
family arm. Perhaps it never was officially registered or issued.   By virtue
of both its acceptance within the Kincheloe family and its widespread
distribution, that heraldic image has earned a certain authority despite
an unclear origin.   It is pictured below.

As many works on heraldry remind their readers, we are cautioned to be
aware that coats-of-arms were issued to individuals and not to families.
Thus, the idea of a "family coat-of-arms" is not exactly in keeping with the
traditional function or notion of a coat-of-arms.   To be completely proper
about it, only the direct descendants of an individual who was entitled to
a particular arm may currently claim that arm.   Still, even if family members
are not direct descendants of an individual who possessed a coat-of-arms,
the display of that arm shows respect for honored members of the extended family.  Showing that arm maintains a valuable connection with the past. In that sense it does become something of a "family coat-of-arms."

The ancient Cheinnselaig (Cinnsallagh) coat-of-arms is a unique type of
arm, however.   Because of its great age, it is no longer linked to any
particular individual.  It is one of the few coats-of-arms that, because it is
only associated with one sept or family in general, has become over time a
true family coat-of-arms.   As descendants of the descendants of Enna
Cheinnselaig (Cinnsallagh), the members of the Kincheloe family can display this coat-of-arms with pride.

A kind thank you to John Kincheloe III for allowing the use of the above
taken from "Kincheloe Origins", by John W. Kincheloe, III. Spirit Lines
Press, copyright 1997".  I have his books on the Kincheloe family and
recommend that anyone researching the Kincheloe surname and family
contact John at [email protected]  John had a lot of information on his site and in his books.  Unfortunately, he is in the middle of changing webservers.  His old web site is archived and if you want to know all about
our Kincheloe ancestry, and until John's new site is up, this is the site to
visit.  John has a lot of research behind him and much to offer those who
are researching their Kincheloe origins.  John is also restoring the first
Kincheloe homestead for the benefit of all Kincheloe descendants.
His archived site is at:

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