Finn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Finn family

The surname Finn was 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 Ó Finn, an Irish musician who died 1269. His obituary listed him as a master of music and minstrelsy.

Saint and Bishop Finn Barr (d. 623), of Cork, was son of Amergin, of the tribe of Ui Briuin Hatha of Connaught, who were descended from Eochaidh Muidmheadhon, brother of Olioll Olum, king of Munster. [1]

Cumine Ailbhe or Finn (657?-669?), was seventh Abbot of Hy, the son of Ernan, son of Fiachna, of the race of Conall Gulban. "The term 'ailbhe' is explained as albus, or fair, in the 'Annals of Ulster,' and more fully in an ancient poem quoted in Reeves's 'Adamnan,' where he is referred to as 'Cumine of fair hair.' " [1]

Early History of the Finn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Finn research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1020 and 1369 are included under the topic Early Finn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Finn Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Finn family (pre 1700)

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


United States Finn migration to the United States +

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, who settled in 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 [2]
  • Martin Finn, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [2]
  • Con Finn arrived at the port of New York in 1812
  • Con Finn, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [2]
  • Elizabeth Finn, aged 31, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Finn migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Finn Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Finn, who arrived in Newfoundland in 1789 [3]
Finn Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Finn, who settled in 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
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Finn migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Finn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Finn, English Ploughman who was convicted in Kent, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 18th June 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died 1859 [4]
  • Mr. John Finn, (b. 1799), aged 40, Irish labourer who was convicted in Kildare, Ireland for 10 years for highway robbery, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 19th May 1839, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Mr. Patrick Finn, Irish convict who was convicted in Ireland, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 9th April 1844, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • James Finn, aged 16, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Victoria Regia"
  • Mary Finn, aged 35, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Finn migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Finn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Finn, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helvellyn" in 1863
  • Mr. Michael Finn, South African settler travelling from Cape Town aboard the ship "Eveline" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 22nd January 1865 [7]
  • Michael Finn, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
  • Mr. Joseph Finn, (b. 1852), aged 23, Irish farm labourer from Carlow travelling from London aboard the ship "Waimate" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th December 1875 [8]
  • Mr. Patrick Finn, (b. 1863), aged 20, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Forfarshire" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 26th June 1883 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Finn (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Joseph "Tom" Finn (1948-2020), American musician and DJ
  • 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
  • Chester Evans Finn (b. 1944), American professor of education at Vanderbilt University (1981) and an educational policymaker
  • John Finn (b. 1952), American actor
  • William Finn (b. 1952), award-winning American composer and lyricist
  • Lieutenant John William Finn (1909-2010), American sailor awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1941 for his actions at Pearl Harbor
  • Howard J. Finn, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Marine Corps, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • Edward Finn, American politician, First Selectman of Winchester, Connecticut, 1904-11 [9]
  • Daniel E. Finn, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 1st District, 1885-88, 1895-99 [9]
  • Charles A. Finn, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Oneida County 3rd District, 1923 [9]
  • ... (Another 41 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales


Suggested Readings for the name Finn +

  • 1506 History of Our Moyer, Finn, Sutton, Russell & Related Families by William Finn Moyer.

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cadet/
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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