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Flinn Coat of Arms / Flinn Family Crest

Flinn Coat of Arms / Flinn Family Crest

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. 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. FLINN 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. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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