Recorded in several forms including Noonan, Nunan, and Neenan, this is an Irish surname of great antiquity. Originally recorded as O'Nuanain, it is said to belong almost exclusively to the province of Munster, and particularly County Cork. The name means the "descendant of the beloved one" which was a reference to the original chief of the clan, since almost all Gaelic surnames are closely associated with the perceived attributes of the founder. Some proof of the original meaning is given by the fact that in their early history the clan were "erenaghs" or hereditary minor lords, who had a specific responsibility for maintaining and managing church property and lands in their particular area...
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