Recorded as O' Timony. MacTimpany, Timney, Timny, Timoney, Timpany, Tumpane, and others, this is quite a rare Irish surname. It originates from the more northern counties of Leitrim and Mayo, as well as the Ulster counties of Armagh, Donegal, and County Down, and as Tumpane is found to the south in County Tipperary. The surname derives from the pre medieval word 'tiompanaigh', a musical instrument called the timpane, from which we get the modern timpani, or kettle drum. It is therefore occupational for a player of such an instrument. Occupational surnames are rare in the Gaelic, which are all almost exclusively patronymics deriving from a nickname for the first chief of the clan or sept. The name has undergone many changed over the centuries. In the famous Hearth Tax Rolls of 1665 in Armagh it is generally recorded as O' Temmany, although there is at least one as O' Timpany which seems to have been a self administered spelling. Today it is rarely found with either O' or Mac prefix although either are in effect correct.
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