- Recorded in several spelling forms including O'Lennon, O'Lennan, Lennon, Linnane and Lineen this interesting surname is Irish. It usually originated from the pre 10th century O'Leannain, a byname meaning "lover", but may also be from O'Lonain, a diminutive of "lon", meaning the blackbird. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, and were originally prefixed by O' meaning the grandson or male descendant, or Mac, meaning son of. The O'Lennons of Fermanagh held the office of erenage, that is the hereditary holder of church property, and the maintainers of priests. Other Lennons were erenaghs of Lisgoole near Enniskillen, and produced many distinguished ecclesiastics, including six priors or canons between the years 1380 and 1466. Amongst the name early recording is that of Richard Lennon, recorded as living in the town of St. Michael's in the Barbados in 1680; whilst two centuries later he was followed across the Atlantic by Pat Lineen, who embarked at Belfast on the ship "Devonshire of Liverpool" bound for New York on April 10th 1846. He was one of the first emigrants to escape the infamous famine of 1846 - 1848. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Teag O'Lennon, the erenagh of Eniskillen. This was dated 1380, in the "Annals of the Four Masters". Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation, and 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.
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