This interesting name is an ancient Celtic personal name derived from the Irish word, "conn" meaning "counsel". It is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O' Cuinn" distinct septs of this name, the most notable being, the Dalcassian sept of Thomond, whose territory lay around Corofin in the barony of Inchiquin, County Clare, and of Antrim, where they have been associated with the Glens of Antrim. The first of this sept to bear the name was Niall O' Cuinn, who was killed at the Battle of Clontarf, in 1014.The name can be found as "O' Quinn" or "Mac Quinn" (the "O" and "mac", denoting "son of"), while O' Quinn is common all over Ireland, and especially in County Tyrone, Mac Quinn is more popular in County Kerry. Among the recordings in London is the marriage of Henry Quyn and Margaret Hewe on August 30th 1609 at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London and the christening of William Quin, son of Andrew and Hanna Quinn, on January 2th 1692, at St. Bride, Fleet Street. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mac Cuinn, which was dated 1027, Ancient Charters of the Isle of Man, during the reign of King Canute, 1013 - 1035. 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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