This name originally came into Scotland by settlers from Sweden and Denmark. It was an ancient personal name. In the Domesday Book the name occurs as FIN and PHIN. Several persons of the name possessed lands of th Abbey of Dunfermline, circa 1296. David Fin is recorded in 1598, and Isabel Fynne appears in the parish of St.Madois in 1612. The name was taken to Ireland by settlers, and at the end of the last century Finn families were distributed in almost exact numbers in Leinster, Munster and Connacht. Nevertheless two of the three known O'Finn septs were located in Connacht and a third in the south of the region called Oriel. The considerable presence of Finns in Munster could be due to an early migration of a branch of one of the northern septs. One of the O'Finn septs was located in County Sligo in a territory called Calry, which is in the north of the county of Carbury barony along the northern shore of Lough Gill. In Ireland, Fin de Haltun was documented in 1143, and Hugo filius Fin appears in 1178. 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 definate nomenclature. The prefix 'Mac' was given to the father's christian name, or 'O' to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in Scotland.
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