The associated coat of arms of FLYNN is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. (a Sept in Munster, deriving their name from Floinn: descended from the ancient Kings of Connaught: the Chieftan of the Sept lived at Ardagh Castle, a territory between Skibberen and Baltimore in County Cork.) Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. 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. FLYNN and O'FLYNN families do not have a common ancestry but may descend from any number of distinct persons who became distinguished at a given time by the adjectival description flann, which means ruddy, and which gave rise to the name . There are two O'Flynn septs in County Cork, where the surname is still widespread, one seated in West Cork in West Carbery barony with a stronghold at Ardagh and the other in East Muskerry barony. In Connacht, there was an O'Flynn sept seated in Castlereagh barony, County Roscommon, and in Ulster, another sept of the name held territory in southern County Antrim; some of their descendants have become O'Lynn or Lynn. Errol FLYNN (1909-59) was the Australian born, American actor. Having played the role of Fletcher Christian in the Australian made film 'In the Wake of the Bounty' (1933) he went to England to gain acting experience, and after a part in a film made by the London branch of Warner's studios, was offered a Hollywood contract. His first American film 'Captain Blood' (1935) established him as a hero of historical swashbucklers.
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