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

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

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Flynn originally appeared in Gaelic as O Floinn, which is derived from the word "flann," which means "ruddy."


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 Flynn family name include Flynn, O'Flynn, Flinn, Lynn, O'Lynn, O'Linn and many more.

First found in Tuitre (now Antrim,) where they were Lords of Tuitre. [1] However, the Flynn surname arose independently in several parts of Ireland. Perhaps the oldest line were a Sept of O Floin in Armagh, Ulster, where they were a senior branch of Clanna Rury of Ulidia, claiming descent from King Colla Uais, the famed 4th century Irish King, who in turn was descended from the Heremon royal line.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Flynn research. Another 299 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 125 and 1255 are included under the topic Early Flynn History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 37 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Flynn 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 Flynn:

Flynn Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Hugh Flynn, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • John, Flynn Jr., who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816
  • Joseph Flynn, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Mary Flynn, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816
  • Patric Flynn, who landed in New York in 1833

Flynn Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Martin Flynn, who arrived in Arkansas in 1902


  • William James Flynn (1867-1928), American Director of the FBI (1919-1921)
  • Errol Flynn (1909-1959), Australian-born, famous American actor known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films
  • Edward Flynn (1909-1982), American Olympic gold medalist boxer at the 1932 Summer Olympics
  • Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964), American socialist, organizer and leader
  • Raymond Leo Flynn (b. 1939), American politician, Mayor of Boston (1984-1993), and American ambassador to the Vatican (1993-1997)
  • John Thomas Flynn (1882-1964), American journalist
  • Jim Flynn (b. 1938), American country music songwriter
  • Michael Francis Flynn (b. 1947), American statistician and science fiction author
  • Edward Joseph Flynn (1891-1953), American politician, Secretary of State of New York 19291939
  • William Smith Flynn (1885-1966), American politician, the 54th Governor of Rhode Island from 1923 to 1925



  • The Flynn-Tolchard Families: An Ancestoral Genealogy Including Branches of the Hoskins, Hickok, and Foster Families by Herman Halladay Flynn.
  • Out of Grandfather's Trunk by Elizabeth Blakshear Flinn.


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)

Other References

  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  3. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  4. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  5. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  6. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  7. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Flynn Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Flynn 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 29 August 2014 at 13:29.

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