Sept / Branches
The surname has been in Dublin for the past four hundred years and amongst its bearers have been a tutor to the Scottish royal family, a Lord Mayor and a famous actor.
There was no distinct sept of the O'Cuinn that had its origins in the County. However it is likely that bearers of the surname were of the abc sept
and the surname was in the County from an early date.
There have been families that bore the surname in Dublin for at least the past four hundred years.
The story of one family pieced together from the records illustrates this. A Walter Quinn is first heard of in Edinborough in 1600, where he published a curious collection of poems entitle “Lerum Poeticum in honoram jacobi sexi serenissimi ac potentissimi Scotorum”. He seems to have had some difficulty getting his work published. He was later Preceptor (Tudor) to Prince Henry, the eldest son of King James who died in 1612 at eighteen years of age, Walter Quinn published his epitaph. The royal connection proved of some use in Ireland, in 1629 he received monastery lands in Waterford, and in 1632 received satisfaction for a debt owed to him.
We hear no more of this family until the time of Walter’s grandson. Mark was a member of Dublin City Council, and in May 1655 during the Cromwellian period he along with Denish Quinn and others signed a petition against the burden of customs. In 1661/62 Mark along with others was expelled from the city council, but he obviously regained his seat for on 2nd October 1667 we are told “Alderman Quin was to-day sworn at the Exchequer Lord Mayor of Dublin having been formerly elected according to custom”.
His career came to an end in 1674 when in a fit of jealousy at the conduct of his better half who it seems “was loved by Lord and Lad alike” he committed suicide by cutting his own throat with a razor.
Mark’s son James was the father of the famous actor James Quin. This James Quin was illigitimised by the fact that his mother’s former husband who was reputed to be dead returned to Dublin after an absence of 28 years. James was renown for his role of Falstaff in the London theatres, he died around 1745. It has been said that this Quin family originated in Tipperary, therefore most likely a branch of the Muintir Iffernain.
A study of the Census of Ireland 1659 indicates that Quinn’s were well distributed throughout the Dublin baronies : Newcastle and Upppercross 8, Nethercross 11. Balroathy 10, Castleknock 7, and also the southern Meath Barony of Duleek 9. Might the families in the north county and Meath be of the Muintir Giolgain, and the families in the south county of the Muintir Iffernain via Tipperary.
The surname occurs frequently in the Prerogative Wills over the next two Centuries. These families were farmers and of the merchant classes, and no doubt their descendant are in the Dublin are today, they would not have had the reason to emigrate as families in poorer parts of Ireland.
At present the bearers of the surname in Dublin have been added to considerably by the immigration from the rest of Ireland particularly during the last fifty years.
1640 Civil Survey
O'Quinn was to be found in
Quinn/e was to be found in the baronies of
1830 Tithe Books
Quin/Quin was to be found in all baronies
1848/49 Griffiths Valuation
Quinn/Quinn was widely distributed in the county, the greatest concentrationwas in the Barony of Rathdown with 29 households.
1890 Birth Index
The principal surnames is listed, they are in order of the numerical strength in which they occur. The figure after the surname is the number of entries in the birth index for 1890. The estimated number of persons of each surname can be ascertained by multiplying the figure by the average birth rate, which for that year was 1 in 44.8 persons.
Byrne 301, Kelly 194, Doyle 162, Murphy 132, Smith 106, O'Brien 105, Kavanagh 97, Dunne 93, O'Neill 93, Reilly 93, Nolan 89, Connor 82, Walsh 77, Farrell 73, Carroll 71, Ryan 65, Moore 63, Cullen 62, Keogh 60, Murray 60, Whelan 59, Brady 52, Kennedy 51.
Quinn Surname Homepage