Last name: Guinn

Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this is a surname of Olde English and Welsh pre 7th century origins. Deriving from the word 'gwn' meaning light or fair, it was used as a name of endearment for a child with fair hair or a noticeably pale complexion. The name was also used as a byname or distinguishing epithet, to identify two bearers of the same name, such as John Wyn ap Hugh Gwyn or John, the fair, son of Hugh the fair. As Gueinn, Guinne or Gwynne the origin is apparently English, as Welsh writing is phonetic and the letter "e" would produce a misleading pronunciation. The modern surname can usually be found as Gueinn, Guin, and Guinn in England, as Gwen, Gwyn, Gwynn and Gwynne in South Wales, and as Wyn, Wynn, Wynne and Winn in North Wales. Among the sample recordings are the marriage of Edward Guin to Mary Colloun at St Margarets Westminster, on June 4th 1646, the christening of John Gwynne on May 3rd 1669 at Typn, in Breconshire, and that of Ann Gueinn at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on July 25th 1711. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Gwynne. This was dated 1481 - 1482, in the tax registers known as the "Feet of Fines" for the county of Surrey, during the reign of King Henry V1th, 1422 - 1485. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Hi, I am Eddie Guinn from Tennessee! I would love to get more info on the Guinn history. My Dad & grandfather were from Macon County Tennessee. I was told our forefathers came to the USA through Virginia and our direct lineage had a relative killed in the Civil War. Any additional info would be greatly appreciated!

Robert O'Guin
I would assume the same that the variation O'Guin would come from the same line as guinn,quinn, and O'quinn. WEould that be safe to say Helen?

well I'm more confused now then ever my grandmother was Vandella Gwen born in sampson county nc. There was confusion also beause one person said she was a O'quinn but her own signiture on her ss card signed guinn so you all tell me please.

Joss Guin
There is also the french (norman) connection. I am a Guin, and our family legend tells us we arrived in England with William the Conqueror in 1066. Looking in the ledger at Battle Abbey my father found the names Guines, which pronounced in french is guin as in guinea.

Helen Hall
Hi Monica Yes a lot of people assume it is Welsh because of the phonetic similarity, but it is Irish. First found in Longford, where they were Lords of Muintir Gillagain. The O 19Quinns and MacQuinns (and all the spelling variables descended from these) were descended from Conn who was in turn descended from the Princes of Annaly. Helen

Helen Hall
Dear J Sorry to disagree, but perhaps your father was talking about the Welsh form: Gwynne, but Guinn is definitely Irish. (They are both Celtic countries so have many words and names which are similar.) I gathered a lot of information on the Guinn sept when I was in Ireland some years back. It is one of those less common names, but definitely goes back to ancient times in Ireland. They have an Irish coat of arms: A green shield with a silver pegasus passant, wings elevated and a gold chief. See also below, excerpt from 1800 Word History about the name : Origin: Irish Spelling variations of this family name include: O'Quinn, Quin, Quinn, Quine, MacQuin, MacQuinn, McQuin, McQuinn, MacCuin, Cuinn, Cuin and many more. More than happy to continue discussing the origins of the name and provide further details of past research if you are really interested. I have been involved in genealogical research for over 40 years. HH

Helen I have the same information. I was told by my father that it is Irish, which is our decsent, and that it is related to mcguinness

Actually, no it is not. I am a Guinn and i know for a fact that the Guinn name originated from Wales. The fact that there is an irish beer named GUINNESS does not deter from the origin of the last name.

Helen Hall
This is an Irish surname, not Welsh, hence the spelling. The sept comes from around Sligo, and means son of Aonghusa. Related names are: McGuinness, Magennis, Magennis, Maginnis, Meginnis