This is an Irish surname of great antiquity. It derives from the original pre 12th century Gaelic "MacCuirtin", and like many early surnames was originally a nickname for the first chief of the clan. "Curitin" translates as hunchback, and therefore it is reasonable to assume that this was a physical description. The name is recorded in many spellings including McKerton, McKeurtan, McKirton, MacCurtin, McCurtain, Curtin, Curtain, Curtayne, and possibly Cartin, Cartan, Carton. These latter forms are however more usually derivatives of the Northern Irish MacCartan, a surname of a completedly different origin, being derived from the ancient personal name Airt or Art, short forms of Arthur. The MacCuirtin clan originates from the barony of Corcomroe, County Clare, where it is said that they were the hereditary tutors or ollaves to the famous O'Brien clan of Thomond. However it is now in County Cork that the name is to be found in any numbers. It is recorded that in the census of Ireland in 1659 the name was spelt as both MacCurtaine and O'Curtaine. In both cases the prefix is now rare, but the correct form is with "Mac". The earliest proven recording is probably that of Teag Buidhe MacCurtaine, of Ennistymon, County Clare, in 1659.
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