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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Welsh Gawne family come from? What is the Welsh Gawne family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gawne family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gawne family history?

The Gawne surname is a Brythonic Celtic name that comes from the personal name Gawen. This name was popular due to the exploits traditionally attributed to Sir Gawaine, a nephew of King Arthur who was a native of the English/ Welsh border area and was famed for his exploits as a Knight of the Round Table. Independently, the surname Gawne is native to the Isle of Man, and as a Manx name, it is an occupational surname derived from Mac-an-Gabhain, which means the smith's son.

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Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Gawne has seen various spelling variations: Gawen, Gaven, Gavin and others.

First found in Wiltshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gawne research. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gawne History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Gawne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Gawne: James, John, Michael, Thomas Gavin arrived in Philadelphia between 1775 and 1850; Thomas Gavin settled in Maryland in 1774; John MacGavin arrived in Philadelphia in 1844..

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  • Philip Anderson "Phil" Gawne (b. 1965), British Manx politician
  • Edward Moore Gawne (1802-1871), Speaker of the House of Keys in the Isle of Man


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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Evans, Gwynfor. Wales: A History: 2000 Years of Welsh History. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-120-2).
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  7. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Gawne Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gawne Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 May 2013 at 07:35.

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