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McWhinnie Family HistoryThis Ulster surname has a complex and not entirely proven, etymology. It is believed to derive from the same roots as MacSweeney, which is Mac Shuibhne in the Gaelic. This is a nickname surname of endearment. It means 'the son of the pleasant one', which makes quite a change from the more descriptively personal surnames such as O' Kennedy', translating as 'the descendant of the ugly headed one'. Certainly Mac Shuibhne is recorded in the spelling of Mawhinney, MacWhinnie, MacQuinney, and MacWeeny, as well as the short 'Mc' versions.
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