- Recorded in the spellings of Coen, Coyne, Kilcoyne, and Kyne, this name is usually Irish, but as Coen and Cohen when encountered outside of Ireland, may be Hebrew. When from Ireland it derives from two Gaelic surnames being O' Cadhain originally found in the province of Connacht, and specifically County Mayo, and O' Comhdhain in the province of Ulster. The prefix O' indicates male descendant of, plus in this case either of the personal bynames Cadhan meaning "wild goose" suggesting perhaps that members of the clan were at times either forced to flee abroad, or Comhdan, which has the unusual translation of "a shared gift". It is said that in the 17th century the clan were famous for their literary skills which may account for the latter meaning of the name. Joseph Coyne (1803 - 1868) was a well known author and playright in his day, as well as being a founder of "Punch" magasine, whilst the Reverend Joseph Coyne (1839 - 1891) was also an author of note and a contributor to the Irish republican magasine called the Nation. The spelling as Kilcoyne may not be strictly related in anyway with the above names, but can be a separate development of its own from the pre 10th century Gaelic Mac Giolla Chaine, translating as "The son of the follower of St Caoin", an early holyman and hermit. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.