A Scottish and Irish surname, McKinney family name originally as a Gaelic name which referred to the Celtic god of fire. Some early Scottish spellings included MacCionaodha, MacShimidh and Mac Cionaoith. The early Scottish forms settled in Tweedale in Peebles-shire. The Irish form, also Gaelic, would be written MacCoinnigh, which means the son of Coinneachi.
Spellings variations for McKinney include MacShimmie, MacKimmie, McShimmie, McCammie, McKynnie, McImmey and Mackhimmie.
The McKinney surname is mostly in the northern end of England in the counties of Cumberland, Durham, Yorkshire and Lancashire. In Scotland, the McKinney name is primarily in the southern region. It is concentrated in Lanarkshire, Midlothian and Renfrewshire counties.
In most of the eastern and mid-west portion of the United States the McKinney surname is popular. The states with the greater numbers include Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, Illinois, West Virginia, Oregon and California.
Famous: Baylus Benjamin McKinney (songwriter and singer), Fearghal McKinney (journalist in Northern Ireland), Kennedy McKinney (professional boxer), Seth McKinney (professional football player), Bill McKinney (actor) and Demetria McKinney (songwriter and actress).