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


The distinguished surname Olean 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 Olean family originally lived in the Norman settlement of Lyons-la-Foret, before migrating to England and Scotland.

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The surname Olean 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olean 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 Olean History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Olean 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.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: John Lyon, who came to Barbados in 1634; William Lyon, who arrived at Boston in 1635; Thomas Lyon, who was on record in Connecticut in 1647; Walter Lyon, who was banished to America in 1662.

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  • E. James Olean, American politician, Mayor of Clarksburg, West Virginia, 1972-74, 1989


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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. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  2. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  3. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  9. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 21 January 2016 at 13:50.

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