The surname of COYNE is a Connacht name which has spread into Leinster, and they derive their name from that of the sept of O'Cadhain, whose territory was in County Mayo. The name is also spelt O'CUAIN, CONYER, O'COYNE, KINE, KYNE and CONYERS, to name but a few. The maritime Connacht county of Mayo is bounded on the north and west by the Atlantic, on the south by county Galway, on the east by County Sligo and County Roscommon. According to the Ordnance Survey reports made in the decade prior to the famine years of the 1840's, about one-third of the land in the county, over 400,000 acres, was unprofitable mountain and bog; a further 57,000 acres under water. The appearance of the county varies from tracts of bleak rugged mountains, to lakeland, heath, flat rocky ground and fertile plains. Near Westport, there was a brewery established in 1826, a second brewery, a tannery, corn-stores, salt-works, oat-mills and flour mills, and, in the neighbourhood, slate quarries, a linen factory and two cotton factories, but all these enterprises were mostly in one area and all together provided but scant employment for a population which was around a quarter of a million in the early 19th century. Descendants of a family whose Irish name was MacGiolla Chaoine, adopted the surname Coyne as well as Kilcoyne. Early records of the name mention Allan Coigne, 1300 Ireland. Johny Coyne 1327 Ireland. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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