Everything you need to know about the Irish surname Quinn.

Irish derivation:

Ó Cuinn.

Name meaning:

"Descendant of Conn (chief)."

Read more: Some of the most popular Irish surnames in the US, explained

Counties associated with the name:

Tyrone, Cavan, Antrim, Clare, Longford

Coat of arms motto:

"I wish to see wisdom from above."

Read more: Are you Irish? These are the best ways to begin researching your Irish roots

History of the Quinn name:

Quinn is an Anglicized form of the Irish Ó Coinn or McQuinn/MacQuinn. The latter surname means "descendant of Conn".

The surname Quinn is also rendered Ó Cuinn in Irish. The surname is borne by numerous unrelated Irish families in Ulster and the Irish counties of Clare, Longford, and Mayo.

The most notable family of the name are that of Thomond, a Dalcassian sept, who derives their surname from Niall Ó Cuinn who was slain at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. This family was formerly represented by the Earls of Dunraven.

Another family was seated in Annaly, who were related to the O'Farrell lords of Longford. Other families include one seated in Antrim; one seated in Raphoe; and one called Clann Cuain, seated near Castlebar.

In the 17th century, the surname Quinn was common in Waterford. In 1890, the surname was numerous in Dublin, Tyrone, Antrim, and Roscommon.

Interesting facts:  

- Families of O'Quinn settled in France and became leading citizens both in Bordeaux and Pau. There is a street called Rue O'Quinn in Bordeaux, indicating the importance of the family, which is still extant in that part of France.

Famous Quinns:

  • Aidan Quinn (1959-, Irish American actor)
  • Anthony Quinn, (1915–2001, Mexican-American actor)
  • Colin Quinn (1959-, American actor and comedian)
  • Jonny Quinn (1972-, drummer for Snow Patrol)
  • Sean Quinn (1947-, former richest man in Ireland)
  • Niall Quinn (1966-, Irish footballer)
  • Walter Quin (1575-1634, the Dublin born poet who was tutor and lifelong associate of Charles I)
  • James Quin (1693-1766, famous actor of Irish descent who was greatly admired as the best actor of his time on the London stage) 

Do you know any Quinns? Let us know in the comments!

Read more: Where are you from? Find out using these Irish surname maps

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