Quain / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Quain
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Quain
include Quane, Quaine, McQuan, Quan, Quean and Quoan. This name in Irish is O'Cuain and the latter variants are the anglicized forms of this. This sept came from County Sligo. A sept or clan was a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. According to the customs of the Hy Fiachrach, O'Cuain was the name of a sept located at Dooncoy in the parish of Templeboy. Although this sept originated in Sligo it has for several centuries been principally identified with County Wexford and surrounding Counties. There is a placename called Templquain in the parish of Rathdowney, County Leix. Some of the best known persons of the name were nearly all born in Cork, three being medical men. Dr. Jones Quain (1796-1865), was author of 'Elements of Anatomy'. His brother Richard Quain (1800-1887), and relative Sir Richard Quain (1816-1892), were also medical authors and practitioners.
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Quain