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Irish Surname - Dunne

The name Dunne in Ireland is derived from the original Irish name 'Ó'Duinn' (donn) meaning 'brown'. The original Irish name Ó'Duinn has now lost the 'O' prefix. The O'Duinn and O'Doinn septs were based in Laois and Wicklow and Dunne is still the most common surname in Laois.

Some sections of the clan spelt their name Dunn which usually meant they came from Ulster, where they were possibly of Scottish extraction, while it is almost invariably 'Dunne' in other parts.

The O'Doinns first came to prominence as lords of Tinnehinch in the northern section of County Laois, where they formed one of the principal families of Leinster. Their chief was the Lord of Iregan and they were especially mentioned in mid 16th Century documents as hostile and dangerous to the English interest.

The first recorded spelling of the family name, in the "Ancient Irish Records", is shown to be that of Gillananaomh O'Duinn (1102-1160), the historian and poet.

Famous People

Famous people of the name include Charles Dunn (1799-1872), who was a notable judge in the USA; and Col Humphrey O'Dunne, famous for his bravery in the attack on Savannah in 1774. Sir Patrick Dun (1642-1713), five times President of the Royal College of Physicians, Ireland, and Irish MP, whose memory is perpetuated in Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital, Dublin, was of a Scottish family.

Researching Irish Surnames

We have researched many sources for the origins of Irish surnames and extracted a fair representation of the origins of each. As there are many variations we have compiled a representative, but by no means exhaustive, selection.

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