What is the origin of the last name Quinn?

The last name Quinn traces its origins to Ireland, where it is derived from the Irish surname Ó Cuinn. The name Ó Cuinn translates to "descendant of Conn," indicating a connection to the ancient Irish ruler, Conn of the Hundred Battles. The Quinns were a prominent sept within County Tyrone, primarily recognized for their involvement in Irish history and culture. Over time, the name Quinn spread beyond Ireland, becoming common among Irish diaspora communities worldwide.

Countries of origin for the last name Quinn

The last name Quinn is of Irish origin. It is an anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Ó Cuinn, meaning “descendant of Conn.” The prefix Ó indicates “son of,” and the personal name Conn is derived from the Celtic word “cenn,” meaning “head” or “chief.” The surname has various spellings, including O’Quinn and Quin.

Quinn is a relatively common surname in Ireland, particularly in counties Clare and Tyrone. It is ranked as the 88th most common surname in Ireland, according to the 1901 census. The name has also spread to other parts of the world, including the United States, where it is most prevalent in the states of New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

Historically, the Quinn family was associated with the ancient kingdom of Connacht in western Ireland. They were part of the powerful Uí Fiachrach dynasty, which claimed descent from a legendary high king of Ireland, Conn Cétchathach. The Uí Fiachrach ruled over territories such as Mayo and parts of Sligo. As a result, the surname Quinn is often associated with these regions.

The name Conn can have multiple meanings, including “wisdom” or “intelligence.” It is believed to have been a popular personal name in early Ireland. The association of the surname Quinn with the personal name Conn suggests a connection to leadership or prominence. The name Conn itself has ancient roots in Celtic mythology, with tales of warrior kings and heroes named Conn of the Hundred Battles.

In modern times, many individuals with the last name Quinn have distinguished themselves in various fields. Some notable Quinns include actors Aidan Quinn and Anthony Quinn, professional golfer Christy O’Connor Jr., and journalist Bob Quinn. The name has also been used as a given name, with notable examples being musician and actor Quinn Sullivan and the fictional character Harley Quinn.

While the history and meaning of the surname Quinn can be traced back to ancient times, the specific origins of individual Quinn families and their ancestral connections can vary. Genealogical research and DNA testing have become popular tools for individuals seeking to uncover their personal connections to the Quinn surname and their broader family history.

Overall, the last name Quinn carries a rich heritage rooted in Irish culture and history. Its association with the personal name Conn highlights qualities such as wisdom and leadership. While the specific origins and connections of individual Quinns may vary, the surname continues to evoke a sense of pride and identity for those who bear it.

Interesting facts about the last name Quinn

  • The surname Quinn is of Irish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic Ó Cuinn, meaning “descendant of Conn.”
  • The name Conn, in turn, comes from the word “ceann,” meaning “head” or “chief.”
  • The Quinns were historically one of the seven septs (clans) of County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.
  • The name is also associated with County Clare in the west of Ireland.
  • Several notable individuals have borne the surname Quinn, including Canadian ice hockey player Pat Quinn, American actress Quinn Shephard, and Irish author and playwright Anthony Quinn.
  • Quinn is a relatively common surname in Ireland and among the Irish diaspora.
  • In recent decades, the name Quinn has also gained popularity as a given name, particularly for girls.
  • The Quinn family motto is “Movidus sublimo movet,” which translates to “A high force moves things.”
  • Quinn is a versatile surname that is often found in various professions, including politics, sports, literature, and entertainment.

Name Rank


There are around 76986 people with the last name Quinn in the US

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