This very rare name is believed to be a variant spelling of the Irish O' Teynane, and now generally found as Tinan and Tynan. In the 1690's the name in its various spelling was commonly found in the Barony of Galmoy, County Kilkenny. There is considerable disagreement about the meaning, but it is believed to translate as 'the Son of the descendent of the dark haired one', which given the descriptive element of many Gaelic names, seems a reasonable conclusion. The Irish Famine Record of 1846 - 1848 records a James Teenan or Teenyam who travelled to New York on the ship 'Charlotte' out of Dublin on May 21st 1846, although there no longer appears to be any American record under either spelling. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rachel Tennan, which was dated 1698, married John Cotham on July 3rd at St. Clements, Eastcheap, during the reign of King William III of Orange and England, 1689 - 1702. 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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