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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: French, Irish

Where did the Irish Finn family come from? What is the Irish Finn family crest and coat of arms? When did the Finn family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Finn family history?

The Irish surname Finn originally appeared in Gaelic as O Finn, from the word "fionn," which means "fair."


Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Finn family name include Finn, O'Finn, Maginn, Fynn, O'Fynn and others.

First found in County Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Finn research. Another 256 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1020 and 1369 are included under the topic Early Finn History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Finn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Finn:

Finn Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Teage Finn arrived at Bristol, Rhode Island in 1679
  • John and Philip Finn both came to Virginia in 1698

Finn Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Hannah Finn is on record in Boston in 1744
  • James Finn, a Middlesex England convict, was sent to America in 1755

Finn Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Robert Finn, who arrived in New York in 1811
  • Martin Finn, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • Con Finn arrived at the port of New York in 1812
  • Con Finn, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Elizabeth Finn, aged 31, arrived in New York in 1812


  • William Finn (b. 1952), award-winning American composer and lyricist
  • John Finn (b. 1952), American actor
  • Chester Evans Finn (b. 1944), American professor of education at Vanderbilt University (1981) and an educational policymaker
  • Lieutenant John William Finn (1909-2010), American sailor awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1941 for his actions at Pearl Harbor
  • Rev. Francis James Finn (1859-1928), Irish author of children's literature
  • Most Reverend Christine Finn (1929-2007), British radio, stage, and film actress
  • Gilbert Finn OC (b. 1920), Canadian 26th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick from 1987 to 1994
  • Neil Finn (b. 1958), New Zealand singer/musician
  • Tim Finn (b. 1952), New Zealand singer/musician


  • History of Our Moyer, Finn, Sutton, Russell & Related Families by William Finn Moyer.

Popular Family Crest Products
Finn Armorial History With Coat of Arms
Finn Coat of Arms & Surname History Package
Finn Family Crest Image (jpg) Heritage Series
Finn Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chain
Finn Coat of Arms/Family Crest Coffee Mug
Finn Armorial History with Frame
Finn Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms
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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  5. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  6. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  7. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  8. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  11. ...

The Finn Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Finn Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 September 2013 at 08:08.

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