Quin, Quinn, Cuinn, O'Quinn, O'Cuinn, McQuinn Surname- Background



Cuin, Cuinn, Mac Quin, Mac Quinn, Mackquein, Mackquien, MacQuein, MacQuin, MacQuinn, Mc Cuin, Mc Cuinn, Mc Quin, Mc Quinn, McCuen, McCuin, McCuinn, McQuien, McQuin, McQuinn, Ó Cuin, Ó Cuinn, Ó Quin, Ó Quinn, Ocuin, O'Cuin, ÓCuin, Ocuinn, O'Cuinn, ÓCuinn, O'Quein, Oquin, O'Quin, ÓQuin, Oquinn, O'Quinn, ÓQuinn, Quein, Quien, Quin, Quinn


Welcome to the Official DNA Project for the QUINN surname

Variations include Quin, Quinn, O'Quin, O'Quinn, Cuinn, O'Cuinn, McQuinn, McCuinn and more.

The Quinn Septs DNA was first established by Dr. Nevil Quinn in 2003 to aid in identifying the many distinct Quinn septs in Ireland and throughout the United Kingdom, to include migration/emigration across the oceans, in the Americas and the Commonwealth of Great Britain.  We as Quinns know for certain that most of us descend from Conn Cétchathach ("Conn of the Hundred Battles", pron. [kɒn ˈkeːdxəθax]), himself the son of Fedlimid Rechtmar.  Conn's father Fedlimid is credited with bringing the "Eye for an Eye" principal, or the "law" of retaliation, or compensation into Irish Brehon Law. 

Conn according to medieval Irish legends and annalistic sources is defined as a High King of Ireland, the ancestor of the Connachta and the Uí Néill dynasties through his descendant Niall Noígiallach.  The dynasty dominated Ireland in the early Middle Ages until today through the Queen Elizabeth II, herself named Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor.  The Queen and the late Thady Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin, 7th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl (27 October 1939 – 25 March 2011) share a common ancestor listed in the Irish Peerage.  This search included a genetic search for the late Earl of Dunraven, Mount-Earl an Irish Peer.  This line of Quin's, whose ancestors were the principal Chiefs of the Clan Hy Ifearnan, gave their name to Inchiquin and also became Earls of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, and were one of the rare families of true Gaelic origin in the Irish peerage. 

NEW Family Tree DNA customers desiring to purchase a discounted DNA Test Kit should click here.
Existing Family Tree DNA members may join our project using their existing FTDNA account by clicking here.

Using Our Results Pages

Kit results are grouped and displayed expeditiously on several spreadsheets, available on the " Dark Blue Pull Down Tabs Above ".   Please view the links to our Y-DNA project "Classic" results (link), our mtDNA page (link), or our "NEW" Family Finder page (future link).  When viewing the Y-DNA project "Colorized" results (link) notice the rows with matching members in the same categories and the highlighted areas showing any genetic mutations.  Your continued support with our quest to resolve life-long mysteries, ancestral dilemmas, and historical possibilities are inspirational.

Our Shared Origins and History

QUINN is the anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Cuinn "descendant of CONN", meaning "counsel", "wise".  Conn Cétchathach ("Conn of the Hundred Battles") was son of Fedlimid Rechtmar.  According to medieval Irish legendary and annalistic sources, he was a High King of Ireland from 122–157 AD and the ancestor of the Connachta.  Conn's son Art mac Cuinn ("son of Conn"), also known as Art Óenfer (literally "one man", used in the sense of "lone", "solitary", or "only son"), succeeded to the High Kingship after his brother-in-law Conaire Cóem, was killed by Nemed.  Art mac Cuinn ruled for thirty years, 165-195 AD.  Art mac Cuinn's son, Cormac mac Airt (son of Art), also known as Cormac ua Cuinn (grandson of Conn).  Cormac mac Art is probably the most famous of the ancient High Kings, and may have been an authentic historical figure, although many legends have attached themselves to him, and his reign is variously dated as early as the 2nd century and as late as the 4th.  He is said to have ruled from Tara, the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, for forty years, and under his rule Tara flourished.  He was famous for his wise, true, and generous judgments.  In the Annals of Clonmacnoise, translated in 1627, he is described as: "absolutely the best king that ever reigned in Ireland before himself...wise learned, valiant and mild, not given causelessly to be bloody as many of his ancestors were, he reigned majestically and magnificently".

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sound.  Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down.  Research on the Quinn families revealed numerous spelling variations, including O'Quinn, Quinn, Quinn, Quine, MacQuin, MacQuinn, McQuinn, MacCuin, Cuinn, Cuin and many more.

By tradition, Catholics of the O'Quinn families spelt their name Quinn with two “n”s whereas Protestants spelt their name Quin with one “n”.  There are five individual septs of the Quinn found all over Ireland.

(1) Ó Cuinn of Thomond, a branch of the Dal gCais, descended from Conn, lord of Muinntear Ifearnain, who flourished in the latter part of the 10th century. They were originally seated at Inchiquin, and their territory which, from their clan-name, was designated Muinntear Ifearnain, comprised the country around Corofin, in Co. Clare. The Earl of Dunraven is a member of this family.
(2) Ó Cuinn of Annaly, a branch of the Conmaicne and of the same stock as the O'Farrells, who were chiefs of Muinntear Giollagain, an extensive district in Co. Longford, until towards the end of the 14th century when they were supplanted by the O'Farrells. Quin is now a very common surname in Co. Longford.
(3) Ó Cuinn of Antrim who were chiefs of Magh Lughadh and Siol Cathasaigh. Conghalach Ó Cuinn of this family, 'a tower of valor, hospitality, and renown of the North of Ireland,' was slain by the English in the year 1218.
(4) Ó Cuinn of Magh Itha, in the barony of Raphoe, now numerous in West Ulster.
(5) Ó Cuinn of Clann Cuain, a branch of the Ui Fiachrach, who were chiefs of Clann Chuain, in the neighborhood of Castlebar, Co. Mayo.
About the middle of the 12th century they transferred their allegiance from the Ui Fiachrach to the Siol Muireadhaigh and became tributary to MacDermott of Moylurg. Ó Cuinn is pronounced O'Coyne in the south of Ireland; hence the anglicized form Coyne which is sometimes used.

The Quinns of this sept descended from Ifeanan, the son of Corc, who was 15th in the ancestral line from Cormac Cas, son of Oillio Olum. Niall O Cuinn was the first to carry this name.  He fought and died in the famous Battle of Clontarf in 1014 alongside Brian Boru (Bryan Boru), High King of Ireland.

At the end of the Nine Year War in 1607, what is known in Irish history as the "Flight of the Earls", that is the Earl of Tyrone, chief of the O'Neils, the Earl of Tyconnel, and Chief of the O'Donnels being suspected of treason, fled to France.  The English government declared all the lands belonging to the O'Neils and O'Donnells, including land belonging to the smaller clans like the O'Quinns, forfeited and in 1609 expelled all the Catholic Irish from northeastern Ulster, the land being granted to English and Scottish settlers.  The few Irish who conformed to the English rule and English church were permitted to remain and were given grants of land.  Several families fled to areas of safety in Scotland, France, Spain and other parts of the world.

The Irish Famine of 1740-1741 was caused in part by an oomycete infection in the potato crop, due to extremely cold and then rainy weather in successive years, and separately, extreme government regulations resulting in a series of poor harvest.  Thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to North America, the Colonies, the British Islands, Canada, Nova Scotia, and Australia.  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 made these choices, it was through 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 and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, though less frequent and vehement, were present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men.  The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine during the 1840's.  Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of Quinn families in North America. 

Worldwide Affiliation

Quinn is one of the most numerous surnames in Ireland, the number of people in present day is estimated at 17,000.  In the United States, the 1940 census shows over 42,000 individuals with Quin, O'Quin, Quinn, O'Quinn and current vital records show 96,500, with just those four surnames.  On Ireland's list of common most surnames it occupies twentieth (20th) place in the country as a whole and first place in County Tyrone, though widespread in many counties. Tyrone is the place of origin of one of the five distinctive septs of this name. The most notable were the Dalcassian sept of Thomond, whos territory lay around Corofin, in the Barony of Inchiquin, Co. Clare; and that of Antrim, where the Quinns have long been associated with the Glens of Antrim. The O'Quinns of Co. Longford were also an important sept, being of the same stock as the O'Farralls of Annaly.  It will be noticed that the place names Inchiquin, Ballyquin etc., are spelt with only one final N.

What Our DNA Tells Us

a) The Y-DNA study has confirmed that several Quinn, O'Quin, Cuinn, O'Cuin families migrated to Scotland, prior to the 1700's and adopted the "Queen" surnames.

b) The Y-DNA study has discovered that several Quinn, O'Quin, Cuinn, O'Cuin families which remained in Ireland throughout the 1600's possibly had changed the surname to the Guinn, Gwinn, O'Guin, O'Gwin surnames, for unknown reasons.   Possibly to avoid persecution or to preserve their property, lifestyle, or culture.

c) The highlight of the Quinn Project comes as we have confirmed many lineages to Common Paternal Ancestors, through different sons and we have also solved several Non-Paternal Events.

There is so much that we can learn and so little time as the minutes tick on our clocks.   I read of families that state they do not have an immediate close family member to test and they do not know of their 2nd cousins willingness to participate.  We must support and encourage those that need assistance.   Our project administrators are unpaid volunteers and researchers, willing to help although it is difficult financially.  We receive "no compensation whatsoever" from FTDNA for our advice and research or membership, this is a "FREE Project".  

"General Fund Donations" to the QUIN, QUINN, CUINN Y-DNA Project are acceptable and can only be 
used to purchase upgrades on existing kits or a new DNA kit ordered on INVOICE.  (Example:  an alternate method
for you to be able to order items for other or future individuals based solely upon your request or special grant studies.)

NEW Family Tree DNA customers desiring to purchase a discounted DNA Test Kit should click here.
Existing Family Tree DNA members may join our project using their existing FTDNA account by clicking here.

Our surname project would like to encourage individuals with the GUIN(N), GWIN(N), O'GUIN(N), QUEEN and their many variant surnames to additionally participate in our project as a tool to evaluate similar and dissimilar hypotheses in identifying similar DNA characteristics between the Quinn lines and other similarly named genetic lines that appear to contain genetic overlapping information.

Due to the FTDNA Administrative Rules, these surnames can not be added to our "List of surnames" above, but participation is welcomed.   We are fortunate that we have discussed this alliance between previous project administrators.   The projects where we do have administrative permission to encourage and allow other surnames to join our Quinn project are:

All individuals that descend from QUIN, QUINN, O'QUIN, O'QUINN, O'CUIN, O'CUINN variant surnames, within "any" of their recent 7 generations and have Family Finder Results (autosomal DNA) are encouraged to participate.   We prefer you join your primary surname project first prior to joining ours, but it is not a requirement. 

There are numerous Quinn genetic matches with differing surnames in the whole of Ireland and Scotland that bear further investigation.  We find much fewer of our group have genetic relationships with individuals in Wales and England.  It should be further noted that many L21+ identified individuals may have genetic similarities with Norse populations and others may have affiliation with the Judaic communities of the Rhine River Region in Germany.

  • However, these are rare and those bearing these surnames should join their respective project and consult their administrator for further examination.  

NEW Family Tree DNA customers desiring to purchase a discounted DNA Test Kit should click here.
Existing Family Tree DNA members may join our project using their existing FTDNA account by clicking here.


  • The Irish Confederate Wars, also called the Eleven Years' War (derived from the Irish language name Cogadh na hAon Bhliana Déag), took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. It was the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms – a series of civil wars in the kingdoms of Ireland, England and Scotland (all ruled by Charles I). The conflict in Ireland essentially pitted the native Irish Catholics against English and Scottish Protestant colonists and their supporters. It was both a religious and ethnic conflict – fought over who would govern Ireland, whether it would be governed from England, which ethnic and religious group would own most of the land and which religion would predominate in the country..
  • The Flight of the Earls (Irish: Imeacht na nIarlaí / Teitheadh na nIarlaí) took place on 14 September 1607, when Hugh Ó Neill of Tír Eóghain (Tyrone), Rory Ó Donnell of Tír Chonaill (Tyrconnell) and about ninety followers left Ireland for mainland Europe.
  • The Flight of the Wild Geese was the departure of an Irish Jacobite army under the command of Patrick Sarsfield from Ireland to France, as agreed in the Treaty of Limerick on 3 October 1691, following the end of the Williamite War in Ireland. More broadly, the term "Wild Geese" is used in Irish history to refer to Irish soldiers who left to serve in continental European armies in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
  • Redlegs is a term used to refer to the class of poor whites that live on Barbados, St. Vincent, Grenada and a few other Caribbean islands. Their forebears came from Ireland, Scotland and the West of England. Many of their ancestors were forcibly transported by Oliver Cromwell consequent to his subjugation of Ireland. Others had originally arrived on Barbados in the early to mid 17th century as slaves or indentured servants. Small groups of Germans and Portuguese were also imported as plantation labourers. Many were described as "white slaves". According to folk etymology, the name is derived from the effects of the tropical sun on their fair-skinned legs. However, the term "Redlegs" and its variants were in use for Irish soldiers of the same sort as those later transported to Barbados, and the variant "Red-shankes" is recorded as early as the 16th century by Edmund Spenser in his dialogue on the current condition of Ireland.
  • Penal Colonies are settlements used to exile prisoners and separate them from the general populace by placing them in a remote location, often an island or distant colonial territory. Although the term can be used to refer to a correctional facility located in a remote location it is more commonly used to refer to communities of prisoners overseen by wardens or governors having absolute authority.
  • Understanding the Heraldry and Coat of Arms dilemma.  Currently you cannot trust the things you purchase as tokens, or momentos.  We hope to sort this out in great detail so that you are aware of your genetic relationship to Heraldry and Coats of Arms that have been misrepresented for centuries.  See the SEPT and CLAN section of the Wikipedia page for the list of known entities.

*** Note: .. The overall truth, .. In 2009-2010 membership in the Quinn Project dropped from about 200 down to about 70, due to the creator of the Quinn Project leaving the project idle.  A secondary Irish Quinn Project began about 2009, causing much confusion and other projects were forming.   I successfully got involved with the primary focus of (1.) rescuing the "Original" QUINN from destruction, to (2.) logically analyze member's kit results for properly grouping, with technical recommendations, as was not in the past, and (3.) to prevent the project from being turned over & displayed on WorldFamilies.net ..  We have surpassed all previous membership totals, I have over 75% of members identified with heritage .. as some members have passed or kit privacy is extreme with no info, and the project could benefit with additional assistance.  *** If you're an O'QUIN-CUIN-QUIN-QUINN and passionate about becoming a Co-administrator, with hopes of becoming the "Primary Administrator" please send me an email stating so.  Michael A. Gwinn, gwinnma88401@gmailcom

General Fund

Current balance: $28.05

Type Amount Date Donor Note KitNum Donation Type
Credit $25.00 3/3/2015   Anonymous
Debit $138.95 12/4/2014       Unknown
Credit $10.00 12/4/2014 T. Allen Quinn For Liam's Kit Balance   Individual
Credit $44.00 9/17/2014   Credit from kit #284142   Unknown
Credit $44.00 9/17/2014   Credit from kit #284141   Unknown
Credit $44.00 9/17/2014   Credit from kit #284140   Unknown

Project Stats

Statistic Type Count
Big Y 9
Combined GEDCOMs Uploaded 31
DISTINCT mtDNA Haplogroups 61
DISTINCT Y-DNA Confirmed Haplogroups 33
DISTINCT Y-DNA Predicted Haplogroups 0
Family Finder 100
Genographic 2.0 Transfers 6
Maternal Ancestor Information 145
mtDNA 99
mtDNA Full Sequence 52
mtDNA Plus 80
mtDNA Subgroups 64
Paternal Ancestor Information 198
Predicted Y-DNA Haplogroups 30
Total Members 267
Unpredicted Y-DNA Haplogroups 0
Unreturned Kits 30
Y-DNA Deep Clade (After 2008) 9
Y-DNA Deep Clade (Prior to 2008) 9
Y-DNA Subgroups 60
Y-DNA111 39
Y-DNA12 192
Y-DNA25 166
Y-DNA37 160
Y-DNA67 109