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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The distinguished surname Lyon is a proud example of one of the more noteworthy Scottish surnames. In Scotland, hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules and during the late Middle Ages, names that were derived from localities became increasingly widespread. Local names originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate.The Lyon family originally lived in the Norman settlement of Lyons-la-Foret, before migrating to England and Scotland.


The surname Lyon was first found in Perthshire where Sir Roger de Lyon settled in Scotland in 1098 and called the lands there Glen Lyon. "According to the family tradition the Lyons came to Scotland from France, by way of England, in the course of the twelfth century." [1] "John de Lyon obtained from David II a grant of the baronies of Forteviot and Fergundeny in Perthshire and Drumgawan in Aberdeenshire; his son, Sir John Lyon, was Secretary to Robert II, whose youngest daughter, Lady Jane Stewart, he married, and was created Lord Glamis, made Great Chamberlain, and Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and received grants of the Thanedom of Glamis in Forfarshire, and of the Barony of Kinghorn in Fifeshire. " [2] Another source claims that the family arrived via England later. "The name was not uncommon in England in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and landowners of the name were in occupation in several of the English shires in the reigns of Edward I and Edward II. The first of the name recorded in Scotland, probably an English soldier, was Thomas Lyon, crossbowman, who formed one of the garrison of Linlithgow peel in the pay of Edward II. " [1] Mention should now be made of the numerous listings of the family in England at about the same time. Here it is generally thought that the first record of the name was Roger de Leonibus filius Jeffrey de Lions who was listed in the Feet of Fines of Norfolk during the reign of Henry III of England (reign 1216-1272.) The same source lists John de Leonibus in Southamptonshire and Peter de Leonibus in Northamptonshire. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Judaeus Leo and Jacob filius Leonis in Lincolnshire; John Leon in Oxfordshire; and Roger de Lyons, Wiltshire. [3]

Spelling variations of this family name include: Lyon, Lions, Lyons and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lyon research. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1105, 1203, 1643, 1695, 1663, 1712, 1696, 1715, 1715, 1715, 1702, 1707 and are included under the topic Early Lyon History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 159 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lyon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Lyon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Lyon Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Lyon, who came to Barbados in 1634
  • William Lyon, who arrived at Boston in 1635
  • Wm Lyon, aged 14, landed in America in 1635
  • Thomas Lyon, who was on record in Connecticut in 1647
  • Henry Lyon, who arrived in Connecticut in 1648

Lyon Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Robt Lyon, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Philip Lyon, who landed in South Carolina in 1716
  • James Lyon, who arrived in North Carolina in 1734
  • John George Lyon, who arrived in Maryland in 1740
  • Jacob Lyon, who arrived in Jamaica in 1740

Lyon Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • J Lyon, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Thomas Lyon, aged 28, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Isaac Lyon, who landed in Maryland in 1816
  • George Lyon, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824
  • Carl C Lyon, who arrived in Portsmouth or Norfolk, Va in 1833

Lyon Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Benjm Lyon, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Eleo Lyon, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Robert Lyon, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Margaret Lyon, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Reuben Lyon, who arrived in New Brunswick in 1783

Lyon Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Levy Lyon, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Charles Lyon, Scottish convict from Perth, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Thomas Lyon, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Charles H. Lyon arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Camoena" in 1843
  • Dinah Lyon, aged 19, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Money" in 1849

Lyon Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • W Lyon landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Duke of Roxburgh
  • William Lyon, aged 33, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • John Lyon arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Eagle" in 1854
  • Alexander Lyon, aged 45, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865
  • Agnes Lyon, aged 39, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865


  • Brigadier-General Alfred Jefferson Lyon (1892-1942), American Attached to the Office of the Chief of the Air Corps (1939-1942)
  • Major-General Edwin Bowman Lyon (1892-1971), American Commanding General, Air, Middle Pacific (1945)
  • Hylan B. Lyon (1836-1907), Confederate General in the US Civil War
  • Ben Lyon (1901-1979), American film actor
  • George F. Lyon (b. 1849), American Republican politician, Delegate to New York State Constitutional Convention 25th District, 1894; Justice of New York Supreme Court 6th District, 1896-1919
  • George W. Lyon, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Westchester County 1st District, 1852
  • George W. Lyon, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 21st District, 1886
  • Gilbert R. Lyon (1835-1915), American Democrat politician, Candidate for Circuit Judge in Michigan 35th Circuit, 1905
  • Gregory K. Lyon, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 10th District, 1996
  • Harry B. Lyon, American Republican politician, Mayor of Dunkirk, New York, 1912-13, 1920-21



  • The Ancestors and Descendants of Thomas Lyon Mix by Pearl Mix Cox.
  • Who's Who in the Lyon Family by Burley Frank Lamb.
  • Baldwin/Lyon Family by Virginia Baldwin Pomata.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Pro rege et patria
Motto Translation: For King and country.


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  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Lyon Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Lyon 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 17 February 2016 at 21:57.

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