Recorded in a number of including McGinn, McGenn, McGing, McKinn, Maginn, and others, this is a famous Irish surname. It is derived from Olde Gaelic pre 10th century word "fionn", meaning fair haired or fair skinned, and was probably applied as a nickname, and not necessarily a complimentary one, to the Norse-Viking "invaders" of the 8th century a.d. The Gaelic race and their cousins the Celts, Cornish, and Bretons, were dark haired and dark complexioned, so the incoming Vikings must have been prominent in more ways than one. What is certain is that these fierce warriors swept down from the far North during ghe period of history known as the "Darg Ages", and occupied the Isle of Man between England and Ireland. This they then used as a base to conquer Northern England and much of Ireland. In time they settled and it is reasonable to assume that this clan descended from these settlers. Examples of the surname recordings taken from authentic registers and charters in Ireland, include Mary McGinn, who was born at Templemichael, County Longford, on July 19th 1779, and Julia McGinn, who sailed on the ship "New York", to the port of New York, apparently from Belfast, on March 13th 1846. She was one of the first emigrants to escape from the infamous Irish Potato Famine, 1846 - 1848.
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