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Finn


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The Shield is: Gules, on a chevron or, between three falcons of the second, three mascles of the first.
Translation: The falcon denotes on who is Eager in the pursuit of his objective.
The Crest is: A unicorn resting his dexter foot against a tree proper.
Translation: A unicorn is famous for its Courage and Strength.
The Motto is: "Coelitus Datum", 'Given By God'.
Variant spellings for Finn are: O' Finn, MacFinn, MacFhinn, Maginn, MagPhinn.
Gaelic spelling: "Fionn", meaning 'fair'.

The Finn family is found throughout Ireland, although less appear in the province of Ulster than elsewhere.

Three separate origins of the name have been said to exist, and are generally believed as being correct: 1) O'Finn of Connacht, found in the barony of Dunkellin in Galway, who were erenaghs of Kilcogan, 2) of the southern portion of the old territory of Oriel, which comprised Louth and parts of Ulster. This family has yet to be well uncovered in our research to date, 3) O'Finn of Sligo, where the family served as chiefs of Calry near Lough Gill, in the barony of Carbury. Note the barony of Coolavin, possibly named in their honor from 'Cuil O ghFinn', said to mean 'hiding place of O'Finn'.

MacFinn is also found in ancient records and has variant spellings such as MacFhinn, MagFhinn, and Maginn.

In Keatings History O'Finn and O'Carroll were given as chiefs of Calraighe (Calry), 'a district adjoining Dartry, in the present barony of Dromahaire, Leitrim, and which appears to have comprehended an adjoining portion of Sligo,' (near the present parish of Calry in Sligo). 'This district comprised the parishes of Drumlease and Killargy in Leitrim, with part of the parish of Calry in Sligo.'

Suprisingly, Finn is most common in Co. Cork in modern times, and in Mayo, Dublin, and Roscommon in the 1890 birth index. In the 17th century both O'Finn and McFinne are found as principal names in Co. Cork as well. The reason for the numerous families of the name here remains unclear. Perhaps a branch of one of the above families settled here, or an entirely independent family of the name exists here.

In modern history the best known man of the name is Edmund Finn (1767-1810), outlawed member of the United Irishmen, who served with distinction in the French army and was killed in action at Azava. Most Rev. Edward Maginn (1802-1849), Co-adjuter Bishop of Derry, was notable for his vigourous support of the young Ireland Movement. The Rev. Francis James Finn, S.J. (1859-1928), was the author of many popular books for boys.

Sources:

The Book of Irish Families Great & SmallIrish Families: Their Names, Arms, and Origins
Michael C. O'LaughinEdward MacLysaght
1997 Irish Genealogical FoundationIrish Academic Press Limited 1991

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