Flynn last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Flynn is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Flynn.

Meaning of Flynn

An Irish surname derived from the Gaelic "Ó Floinn," meaning "descendant of Flann" (a byname meaning "red" or "ruddy").

Flynn, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Flynn surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Flynn in America

Flynn is the 534th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Flynn surname appeared 63,400 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 21 people would have the surname Flynn.

We can also compare 2010 data for Flynn to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 534 487 9.21%
Count 63,400 61,747 2.64%
Proportion per 100k 21.49 22.89 -6.31%

The history of the last name Flynn

The surname Flynn is of Irish origin and is derived from the Gaelic Ó Floinn, meaning "descendant of Flann". It can be traced back to the 10th century in Ireland, where it was originally found in County Armagh and County Mayo. The name is believed to be derived from the Old Irish personal name Flann, which means "red" or "ruddy complexion".

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name can be found in the Annals of Ulster, a chronicle of medieval Irish history, which mentions a "Flann mac Mael-tuile" in the year 948. This entry suggests that the name was in use as a personal name during this time period, and it likely evolved into a hereditary surname in the following centuries.

In the 12th century, the surname Flynn appears in the Book of Leinster, an important manuscript containing some of the earliest examples of Irish literature and genealogies. This record indicates that the name was well-established in Ireland by this time.

The earliest recorded bearer of the surname Flynn was Mathghamhain Ó Floinn, who was mentioned in the Annals of Connacht in 1316. This entry provides evidence of the surname's existence in the 14th century.

During the Middle Ages, the Flynn family held lands in County Armagh and played a significant role in the region's history. One notable figure was Gilla-na-naemh Ó Floinn, who was the Bishop of Armagh from 1349 to 1362.

In later centuries, the surname spread throughout Ireland and beyond. Notable individuals with the surname Flynn include:

  1. Errol Flynn (1909-1959), an Australian-American actor known for his roles in swashbuckler films.
  2. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964), an American labor leader and activist.
  3. Raymond Flynn (born 1939), an American politician who served as the Mayor of Boston from 1984 to 1993.
  4. Daniel J. Flynn (1864-1950), an Irish-American prelate who served as the Bishop of Ogdensburg from 1904 to 1914.
  5. Brian Flynn (born 1955), a Welsh football player and manager who played for Burnley and managed the Welsh national team.

Overall, the surname Flynn has a rich history rooted in Ireland, with its origins dating back to the 10th century and its prevalence spanning various regions and historical periods.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Flynn

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Flynn.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Flynn was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 91.91% 58,271
Non-Hispanic Black Only 3.07% 1,946
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.66% 418
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.60% 380
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.50% 951
Hispanic Origin 2.26% 1,433

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Flynn has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 91.91% 93.64% -1.86%
Black 3.07% 2.80% 9.20%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.66% 0.48% 31.58%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.60% 0.56% 6.90%
Two or More Races 1.50% 1.07% 33.46%
Hispanic 2.26% 1.46% 43.01%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Flynn was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Flynn, please contact us.

Reference this page

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"Flynn last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 17, 2024.

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