O'flynn Surname History

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

Early Origins of the O'flynn family

The surname O'flynn was first found in Tuitre (now Antrim,) where they were Lords of Tuitre. [1] However, the O'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.

Important Dates for the O'flynn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'flynn research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 125 and 1255 are included under the topic Early O'flynn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'flynn Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname O'flynn are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Flynn, O'Flynn, Flinn, Lynn, O'Lynn, O'Linn and many more.

Early Notables of the O'flynn family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early O'flynn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'flynn migration to the United States

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the O'flynn family in North America:

O'flynn Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Daniel O'Flynn, aged 28, who settled in America from Kinsale, in 1905
  • Caroline O'Flynn, aged 18, who immigrated to the United States from Newry, Ireland, in 1909
  • Andrew O'Flynn, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Plymouth, England, in 1911
  • Anne O'Flynn, aged 26, who landed in America from Castle Island, Ireland, in 1912
  • Annie O'Flynn, aged 18, who settled in America from Headford, Ireland, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name O'flynn (post 1700)

  • Damian O'Flynn (1907-1982), American actor of film and television
  • Cornelius O'Flynn, American politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1857-58 [2]
  • Joan O’Flynn, Irish 28th President of the Camogie Association (2009–2012)
  • Andrew O'Flynn (b. 1946), Irish retired hurler who played as a full-forward for the Cork (1967-1968)
  • Paul O'Flynn (b. 1985), Irish hurler for Cork (2009-)
  • Noel O'Flynn (b. 1951), former Irish Fianna Fáil politician, Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork North–Central constituency from 1997 to 2011
  • John O'Flynn (b. 1982), Irish footballer who plays as a striker for Limerick
  • Liam O'Flynn (b. 1945), Irish folk musician and uilleann piper
  • Stephen O'Flynn (b. 1982), Irish footballer
  • Francis Edward O’Flynn (1872-1942), New Zealand politician, member of the New Zealand Legislative Council from 1937 to 1942, father of Frank O'Flynn
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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