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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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."

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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. One of the first records of the name was Aed Finn, an Irish musician who died 1269. His obituary listed him as a master of music and minstrelsy.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Finn research. Another 287 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1020 and 1369 are included under the topic Early Finn History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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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 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 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 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


Finn Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • James Finn arrived in Newfoundland in 1789

Finn Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Catherine Finn came to Ontario, Canada in 1825
  • Edward Finn, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1827
  • Catherine Finn, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • William Finn, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • Margaret Finn, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1831


Finn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Finn, aged 16, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Victoria Regia"
  • Mary Finn, aged 35, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"
  • Samuel Finn, aged 29, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Navarino"
  • John Finn, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Stamboul"
  • James Finn, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Utopia"

Finn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Finn arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helvellyn" in 1863
  • Michael Finn, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865

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  • 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
  • Mark Finn (b. 1969), pseudonym of Mark Farr-Nash, American science fiction and fantasy writer, essayist, and playwright, nominated for World Fantasy Special Award: Professional in 2007
  • Rev. Francis James Finn (1859-1928), Irish author of children's literature
  • Ronan Finn (b. 1987), Irish footballer
  • Liam Finn (b. 1983), Irish professional rugby league footballer
  • Most Reverend Christine Finn (1929-2007), British radio, stage, and film actress
  • Gilbert Finn OC (b. 1920), Canadian politician, 26th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick from 1987 to 1994

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  • History of Our Moyer, Finn, Sutton, Russell & Related Families by William Finn Moyer.
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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. 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).
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  8. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  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 29 January 2015 at 18:47.

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