Recorded as MacKinnon, McKinnon, Kinnon, and possibly others, this is Gaelic surname. It can be either Scottish or Irish and originates from Mac Fhionghuin, meaning the son of the descendant of the well born! The name is ancient and first recorded in 728 a.d., and a developed form of 'vindo-gonios' in the ancient Gaelic language. The clan were for many centuries associated with the Isle of Iona, whilst in the graveyard of Kirkapoll, Tiree, a tombstone records that 'Fingonivs' was the prior there in the year 1445. Other early recordings include those of John M'Fynwyn who was abbot of Iona in circa 1490, whilst William Makfingoun was a 'reader' at Paisley in 1560. William Kynnane was the vicar of Dingwall in 1587, but Archibald and Neil M'Fingan of Tiree were denounced as rebels in 1675. Quite what they were rebelling against is unclear, but it maybe that they were Roman Catholic. The 'modern' spelling of the surname seems to have been late in arriving, it was still usually McKynnoun in 1621 and McKinin in 1680. Daniel MacKinnon, born in 1781, was wounded at Waterloo in 1815. He was related to Sir William MacKinnon (1823 - 1893), founder of the British East Africa Company, in 1885. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lachlann Makfingane, which was dated 1409, witnessed a charter of Donald, Lord of the Isles, during the reign of King James 1st of Scotland, 1406 - 1437. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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