This interesting surname of Irish origin is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O' Finnthigheirn", composed of the elements "O" meaning male descendant of and "fionn" fair plus "tighearna" lord; hence "male descendant of the fair lord". "O' Finntighearn" occurs in the Leinster section of O' Dugan and O' Heerin's Topographical Poem as chief of Ui Mealla (Westmeath). All records of the past century or so find the modern form Finneran in Counties Galway and Roscommon. The surname is first recorded in the early 19th Century (see below). On January 18th 1838, Elonoram, daughter of Michaelis and Honoriae Finneran was christened at Kilbride Roman Catholic Church, Co. Roscommon. A famine immigrant, William Fineran (aged 20 yrs.,) departed from Liverpool aboard the "Queen of the West" bound for New York on April 11th 1846. Gullielmus, son of Gullielmi and Annae Finneran, was christened on April 10th 1859, at Calry Roman Catholic Church, Co. Sligo, and Michael, son of Michael and Bridget Finneran was christened in Athlone, Co. Roscommon on January 25th 1864. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Finneran, (witness at a christening), which was dated August 25th 1811, Killarney, Co. Kerry, during the reign of King George 111, "Farmer George", 1760 - 1820. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as 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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