Flinn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Flinn family

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

Early History of the Flinn family

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

Flinn Spelling Variations

A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name Flinn include Flynn, O'Flynn, Flinn, Lynn, O'Lynn, O'Linn and many more.

Early Notables of the Flinn family (pre 1700)

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


United States Flinn migration to the United States +

In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Flinn family came to North America quite early:

Flinn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Bernard Flinn, who landed in America in 1760 [2]
  • Barnard Flinn, who settled in America in 1762
  • John Flinn, who arrived in America in 1797 [2]
Flinn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Flinn, who settled in New York State in 1803
  • Michael Flinn, who landed in America in 1809 [2]
  • Thomas Flinn, who landed in America in 1809 [2]
  • Lawrence Flinn, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1818 [2]
  • James Flinn, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1840 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Flinn migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Flinn Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Flinn, who landed in Canada in 1820
  • Valentine Flinn, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • Maurice C Flinn, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1826
  • Daniel Flinn, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1828
  • John Flinn, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1828
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Flinn migration to Australia +

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

Flinn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Flinn, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. William Flinn, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. William Flinn, British convict who was convicted in Worcester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Joseph Flinn, (b. 1824), aged 15, Irish errand boy who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for pick pocketing, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 19th May 1839, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Hugh Flinn, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Flinn 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:

Flinn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Flinn, Scottish settler from Edinburgh travelling from Leith aboard the ship 'Melbourne' arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 18th March 1861 [8]
  • Mr. John Flinn, (b. 1839), aged 23, Cornish farm labourer departing on 5th August 1862 aboard the ship "Chrysolite" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th November 1862 [9]
  • Mr. William Flinn, (b. 1853), aged 21, Cornish labourer departing on 10th June 1874 aboard the ship "Cathcart" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 29th August 1874 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Flinn (post 1700) +

  • Kelly Flinn (b. 1970), American pilot, first female B-52 pilot in the United States Air Force
  • William Flinn (1851-1924), American political boss and construction magnate
  • Don Flinn (1892-1959), American who played major league baseball
  • Kathleen Flinn, American writer and journalist
  • Ryan Patric Flinn (b. 1980), American football punter
  • John Richard Flinn (b. 1954), former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Kelton Flinn, American computer game designer
  • Alex Flinn, American author of novels for young adults
  • Kenneth A. Flinn, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • George M. Flinn, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 16th District, 1915-16 [10]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. George Fitzroy Flinn, British Assistant Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [11]
Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Florry  Flinn (1907-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [12]


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WILLIAM NICOL. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840WilliamNichol.htm
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  12. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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