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

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

The Llewelyn surname is derived from the Welsh personal name Llewellyn, which was also spelled Llywelin. This name is often explained as meaning lion-like, but is in fact probably derived from the Welsh word "llyw," which means leader. The Welsh double l was a constant source of trouble to English speakers, and was often translated "f."

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Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Llewelyn name over the years has been spelled Flewelling, Flewellen, Llewellen, Llewillan, Llewellyn, Alewellyin, Flewellyn, Flywillan, Fleuellan, Llewallin, Llewallyn, Flewellan, Flewellin, Llewellan, Lewellin, Lewellen, Lewillan, Lewellyn, Lywellen, Lywellin, Lewallin and many more.

First found in Pembrokeshire (Welsh: Sir Benfro), a county in south-west Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Llewelyn research. Another 251 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1500 are included under the topic Early Llewelyn History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Llewelyn:

Llewelyn Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Llewelyn, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1869
  • William Llewelyn, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872
  • James Llewelyn, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1879

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  • Desmond Llewelyn (1913-1999), Welsh actor who played Q in the James Bond series of films
  • John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810-1882), Welsh botanist and photographer


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  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  11. ...

The Llewelyn Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Llewelyn 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 27 October 2010 at 13:34.

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