- This interesting and unusual surname is of Irish origin, and is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O' Cuinneain", which is derived from the Gaelic "coinin", meaning rabbit. This is a Thomond name, mainly found in north Tipperary, with occasional variants being Quinane and Guinnane; Thomond was an area covering most of County Clare, with adjacent parts of Counties Limerick and Tipperary, and it was originally known as "Tuathmhumhan". The surname is basically the same as the Gaelic "O' Cuinin", which has been Anglicized as Cunnane, and has the same meaning. Among the recordings in Ireland are the christenings of Daniel, son of Mathew Kinane and Jane Healy, on July 7th 1864 in County Tipperary, and of Bridget, daughter of Daniel Kinane and Kate Kenny, on February 8th 1865 at Galbally, County Limerick. The christening was recorded in County Tipperary of Michael, son of James Kinane and Joanna Neil, on February 1st 1866 at Emly. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of O' Coinin, which was dated 1317, Thomond, County Clare, Ireland, during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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.