This most interesting surname has three possible sources, all of Old Gaelic origin. Firstly, there is a strong possibility that the name is a variant of "Quinn", the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O Cuinn", meaning the male descendant of Conn, from the prefix "O", male descendant of, and the Gaelic personal name Conn, from "conn", council; this sept were numerous in Tyrone. Secondly, Quiney may have derived as an unusual form of "Mawhinney", (without Mac), which is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "MacShuibhne", composed of "Mac", son of, and a personal name from "suibhne", meaning pleasant, which is a County Antrim surname. From the former source one Niall O'Cuinn was killed at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Finally, the surname may be of Manx origin, found in the Isle of Man, from the Manx "Mac Connaidh", meaning "son of Connaidh", the personal name originating as a nickname for "the crafty one". Marye Queenye married Phillip Davie on October 18th 1569, at St. Mary at Hill's Church, London, while Bartholomew Quiny married Elizabeth Watts in November 9th 1591, at St. Dunstan in the East, London. Robert Quiney married Jane Urin on October 19th 1619, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London. A Coat of Arms was granted to a Quiney family at Shottery in Warwickshire, which depicts a black bend with three silver trefoils slipped on a gold shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Quinnye, which was dated 1429, in the "Name Rolls of the Isle of Man", during the reign of King Henry V1, known as "The Founder of Eton", 1422 - 1461. 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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