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Quinn

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The Shield is: Vert a pegasus passant wings elevated argent a chief or.
The Crest is: A wolf's head erased ermine.
The Motto is: "Quae Sursum Volo Videri", 'I Would See What Is Above'.
Variant spellings for Quinn are: Quin, Queen, Quen, O'Cuinn, O'Quinn, Quinne, McQuin, and McQuinn.

The Quinn name is one of the top 20 most numerous surnames in Ireland, and it is the most numerous surname of Tyrone. Several unrelated families of the name are known to exist. The name means "intelligent".

In Clare the Quinns were centered around Corofin in the barony of Inchiquin and are given ther by Aryan as "O'Quinn of the honest heart...around Corofin of the banquests."

O'Cuinn was also a principal chief of Teffia and their chief stronghold was at their castle in Rathcline, Co. Longford, as found in Keatings History.

O'Quinn is also found as a chief of Moy Lugad, in Keenaught of Glengiven, in Co. Derry.

The O'Quinns are futher found in the Glens of Antrim, along with the MacGees and Mac Alisters. The family name is also found in France, and note the street named "Rue O'Quinn" in Bordeaux, indicating the importance of the family, which is still extant in that part of France.

The early form of this name was O'Cuinn, meaning descendant of Conn, and one Niall O'Cuinn met his fate at the battle of Clontarff in 1014 A.D..

In the 17th century Quinn was a principal name of Waterford and (O) Quinn was found in Dublin, Kings, Down, and Tipperary. In the 1890 index, Quinn (with 2 n's) was the most numerous spelling of the name, being found in Dublin, Tyrone, Antrim, Roscommon, and Galway. The distribution is shown below.
Births of the surname in 1890 (by province): Leinster 114, Munster 63, Connacht 76, Ulster 155.
The spelling of McQuinn was also found in Co. Kerry then.

Much is made as to the spelling of the name with one or two n's. (Such claims are made for many names). No differnce can arbitrarily be claimed from the spelling of the name. No doubt some families spelled their names differently to show that they were not related to the 'other'. In isolated cases could denote political differences.

Among prominent men of the name James Quin (1693-1766), the famous actor, andd Walter Quin (1575-1634), the Dublin born poet who was tutor and lifelong associate of Charles I, and his son James Quin (1621-1659), noted singer, may be specifically mentioned. The Franciscan Thomas O'Quinn was Bishop of Clonmacnois from 1252 to 1279, and John Quinn, a Dominican, was Bishop of Limerick from 1522 to 1551. Thady Quin (1645-1726), of Adare, who was a descendant of the Thomond O'Quins, was the grandfather of the first Earl of Dunraven: this peerage is one of the few held by old Gaelic families, other being O'Brien, O'Callaghan, O'Daly, O'Grady, MacLysaght, and O'Neil.

Arms for the name are found on plates 167 and 168 in the Irish Book or Arms.

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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