This is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic name O'Cuinneain. The Gaelic prefix "o" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal name Cuinneain, a diminutive of Conn, meaning "hero" or "warrior". the Gaelic word "Cuinnean" literally translates as "canton" i.e. a small charge on the left corner of a warriors shield denoting a particular military achievement. The name is particularly widespread in Munster, especially in North Tipperary, West Clare and North Limerick. It has four spelling variations:- Guinan, Guinane, Guinane and Ginnnane. On November 7th 1778, David Guinan, an enfant was christened at St. John's, Limerick and on September 15th 1868 a daughter was born to Thomas Guinnane and Bridget Dempsey in Limerick. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Guinnane, a son born to Patrick Guinnane and Margaret Shiels. which was dated February 21st 1846 at Limerick. during the reign of Queen Victoria, known as "The Great White Queen", 1837 - 1901. 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.