This is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic O Floinn. The Gaelic prefix 'O' indicates 'male descendants of', plus the personal byname 'Floinn' from 'flann' meaning 'ruddy' and originally given as a nickname to one having a red(dish) complexion. Several branches of this clan held independent settlements in various parts of Ireland. One important sept belonged to Skibbereen and Baltimore in Corca - Lauidh (South West Cork) and another to Muskerry where they were Lords of the land extending from Ballyvourney to Blarney in Co. Cork. Another family settled on the borders of Connacht and Ulster (chiefly in counties Roscommon, Leitrim and Cavan). The head of the Roscommon family had the curious privilege of 'mounting the same steed as the royal O Connor'. The territory of the Ulster branch lay between Lough Neagh and the sea. Here, the name also took the form O Loinn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Fiacha O Flynn, Archbishop of Tuam, which was dated 1255 - He was the emissary of the Irish Church to England, during the reign of De Brugo, a Norman Conqueror, 1260 - 1265. 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.