The surname FINNEY has two origins. One from the Irish Finney, an Ulster variant of Feeney which was derived from the Gaelic O'FIANNAIDHE. They were a sept of the Ui Fiachrach of County Galway. In England the name was baptismal 'the son of Phin' meaning the fine, exquisite, the delicate and refined. The name was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as PHIN in counties Essex and Suffolk. In 1066 Duke William of Normandy conquered England. He was crowned King, and most of the lands of the English nobility were soon granted to his followers. Domesday Book was compiled 20 years later. The Saxon Chronicle records that in 1085 'at Gloucester at midwinter, the King had deep speech with his counsellors, and sent men all over England to each shire to find out, what or how much each landowner held in land and livestock, and what it was worth. The returns were brought to him'. William was thorough. One of his Counsellors reports that he also sent a second set of Commissioners 'to shires they did not know and where they were themselves unknown, to check their predecessors' survey, and report culprits to the King'. The information was collected at Winchester, corrected, abridged, and copied by one single writer into a single volume. Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were copied, by several writers into a second volume. The whole undertaking was completed at speed, in less than 12 months. Other records of the name mention Robert le Fyne, documented during the reign of Edward III. (1327-1377) in County Somerset. Thomas Fyn was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.