Recorded in several spellings including O' Kinane, O' Kinnane, Kinane, Kinnane, Quinane, Quinnane and possibly others, this is a medieval Irish surname. It originates from the pre 10th century Gaelic O' Cuinneain, meaning the male descendant of the son of the hare from "coinin", meaning hare or rabbit. It was presumably a nickname for a fast runner, and like the majority of Irish surnames, given to the original chief of the clan possibly a thousand years ago. It is a Thomond surname, mainly found in North Tipperary, with the variants Quinane and Guinnane. Thomond was an area covering most of County Clare, with adjacent parts of Counties Limerick and Tipperary, and it was originally known as Tuathmhumhan. The surname is basically the same as Cunnane, and has the same meaning. Amongst the early church register recordings in Ireland are the christenings of Daniel, son of Mathew Kinane and Jane Healy, on July 7th 1864 in County Tipperary, and of Bridget, daughter of Daniel Kinnane and Kate Kenny, on February 8th 1865 at Galbally, County Limerick. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Teag O' Coinin, and dated 1317, in the charters of Thomond, County Clare, Ireland, during the reign of King Edward 11nd of England, 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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