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The Wynnes Of Ireland website is about the Wynne surname in Ireland.

The Wynne Surname


On looking up the Surname Wynne one finds the name, WYNNE, is thought to have been derived from: Dweller at or near a wynd (narrow street in a town); descendant of Gwynn (fair).

The Wynnes of Co. Sligo derive their name from Gwynn. Coming from Wales in the seventeenth century Owen Wynne was High Sheriff of Co. Leitrim in 1659, and two centuries later another Owen Wynne of Hazelwood owned over 18,000 acres in counties Sligo and Leitrim. Just a century earlier yet another Owen Wynne of Hazelwood was notable for his progressive agriculture. Father Wynne O.P. was remarkable for his missionary work in the Western Isles of Scotland, from which he was finally driven by the laird in 1774. All the many Wynnes appearing in the Dictionary of National Biography were Welsh or English: it might well have included Florence Wynne who was responsible for the establishment of the first tuberculosis hospital in Ireland in 1891.

The sept called Ó Gaoithín anglicized Geehan, Guihen and sometimes Gahan, also belongs to north Connacht. This was originally located in Co. Roscommon. A sept of the same name, now called Gahan, is associated with the area of the Wicklow-Wexford border: Ballygahan, near Arklow, perpetuates this association. Ó Gaoithín must be distinguished from Mac Gaoithín, which is anglicized as MaeGeehan, Mageean etc., and is found principally in Co. Donegal. In that area MacGahan is synonymous with MacGeehan, but MacGahan is usually found in Co. Louth and the adjacent Ulster counties where the Irish form is said to be Mac Eacháin. Another Tirconnell (Donegal) name, which may add to the confusion, is Ó Maolghaoithe, i.e., O'Mulgeehy of Clondavaddock, for this has almost universally become Wynne (from the word gaoth, wind, embodied in it) and even Wyndham. The cause of confusion here is not apparent at first sight. It arises from the fact that each of the Gaelic surnames mentioned has in some places become Wynne. In this connection Wynne has also been used as a synonym of MacGee in Co. Cavan.  Wynne can also be a modern form of the earlier de Vin, which occurs in lists of Irish names in the seventeenth century, e.g. in the Franciscan records printed in Liber Lovaniensis. According to O'Hart, the name Wynne was also associated with the names of foreign refugees (the Huguenots) who settled in Great Britain and Ireland during the reign of Louis XIV of France and their descendants.

From the indexes of Griffith's Valuation, we can see that the distribution of the Wynne surname was mainly in Leinster (approximately 42%) and Connacht (approximately 31%) with approximately 15% of the Wynne population in Ulster and the remaining 11% in Munster. Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon and Dublin were where the name was most plentiful. The 1890 birth index finds the family most numerous in Dublin and Sligo. According to Matheson approximately 38% were born in Leinster, 19% in Munster, 6% in Ulster and 36% in Connacht. The name Wynne is given in the 1659 census. There are 12 families mentioned in the 1851 census of Dublin and there are 25 mentions of Wynnes in the extracts of Wills produced by Eneclann.

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