There are no less than three Gaelic origins for this name. The first in Manx where it derived from the MacWhinney's of Antrim, the second is as an Irish variant of MacWhinney, and the third is O'Quinney, an Ulster name now very rare. Oddly the usual 'anglicised' form of O'Quinney is not Quinney but Cunny and in this form it is fairly common in Co. Sligo. The meaning of the name is subjective but may be from the Gaelic 'connaidh' - a nickname meaning 'the crafty one'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Quinnye which was dated 1429 The Name Rolls of the Isle of Man during the reign of King Henry VI of England 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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