Show ContentsByron History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Byron reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Byron family lived in Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. As a Norman name, they claim descent from Beuron, near Mantes, Normandy, where the family lived prior to coming to England with the Norman invasion. [1]

The name literally means "descendant of Byron (from the cottage); one who came from Byram (tumulus or cowshed), in Yorkshire." [2]

Early Origins of the Byron family

The surname Byron was first found in Yorkshire where "the poet's ancestors were of unquestioned Norman origin. Ernisius (Erneis) de Burun held 32 lordships in Yorkshire, and Ralph de Burun, 13 in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, at the compilation of Domesday [Book]." [3] [4]

At about the same time, "Ralph de Biron held a barony in Notts and Derby, and had his castle in the latter county. How they were related to each other is not positively known, but they were probably brothers ; and it is from Ralph that the Barons Byron descend. His posterity remained seated at Horestan Castle for three generations, till Robert de Biron married the heiress of Clayton, and they removed (moved) into Lancashire." [5]

"The Byrons belong to a very ancient and distinguished family of Nottingham, ennobled by James I.; and, as we also learn from Deering, Sir John Byron was constable of Nottingham castle in the reign of Henry VIII. Byron is still a Nottingham name." [6]

Delving more into Nottinghamshire records, we found at Hucknall-Torkard, "the church is an ancient edifice, containing several monuments to different members of the Byron family, lords of Newstead Abbey, about two miles distant. Here lie the remains of the late celebrated poet, who was interred here, on the 16th of July, 1824, in the family vault: in the chancel is a neat mural monument, with an appropriate inscription. There is also a monument to his ancestor, Richard, Lord Byron, who, with seven brothers, faithfully served Charles I. during the civil war, and sustained great losses and hardships on account of loyalty to that monarch." [7]

Back in Yorkshire, "this surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'of Byram,' a township in the parish of Brotherton, Yorkshire, formerly Byrom." [8]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Roger de Birun, Yorkshire; Ralph de Birun, Lincolnshire; and Hugh de Byron, Nottinghamshire, while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1397 listed Johannes de Byrom; Elena de Byron (Byrom); Roger de Birne (Monk Fryston); and Thomas de Byrne (Selby.) [8]

The family could have claimed decent from "the parish of Winwick, Lancashire. All the Lancashire Byroms hail from this spot. " [8] Again in Lancashire, but at Woolstone, with Martinscroft, a township, in the parish and union of Warrington, hundred of West Derby, we found: "in the 20th of Edward I., John Byrun claimed free warren here in right of his wife Alesia, heiress of Robert Banastre." [7]

Early History of the Byron family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Byron research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1324, 1488, 1498, 1501, 1503, 1523, 1524, 1526, 1527, 1528, 1540, 1542, 1543, 1551, 1552, 1576, 1600, 1606, 1636, 1643, 1645, 1679, 1695, 1788, 1812, 1824 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Byron History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Byron Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Byron family name include Biron, Byron and others.

Early Notables of the Byron family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Sir Nicolas Byron, knighted by Arthur, Prince of Wales on his marriage, 14 November 1501 but died in 1503
  • Sir John Byron (c.1488-1576), an English knight from Colwick in Nottinghamshire, Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire 1523-1524, 1527-1528, 1542-1543 and 1551-1552
  • Sir John Byron Junior (c.1526-1600), an English knight who held Clayton Hall, Manchester and Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire
  • Richard Byron, 2nd Baron Byron (1606-1679), an English Royalist, supporter of Charles I during the English Civil War

Byron Ranking

In the United States, the name Byron is the 5,415th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [9]

Ireland Migration of the Byron family to Ireland

Some of the Byron family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Byron migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Byron family to immigrate North America:

Byron Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Sunnell Byron, who settled in Virginia in 1663
Byron Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Byron, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [10]
  • William Byron, who settled in Virginia in 1776
  • William Byron, who landed in New York in 1797 [10]
Byron Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Byron, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870 [10]

Canada Byron migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Byron Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Michael Byron, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1810
  • Mr. John Byron, aged 25 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Lotus" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [11]

Australia Byron migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Byron Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Shard Byron, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • William Byron, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [13]
  • Mr. Joseph Byron, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Dunvegan Castle" on 13th March 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Henry Byron, (Frederick Vincent), (b. 1803), aged 33, English convict who was convicted in Kingston-Upon-Hull, Yorkshire, England for life for theft, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 20th January 1836, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1862 [15]
  • Mr. Peter Byron, British Convict who was convicted in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for 14 years, transported aboard the "Cressy" on 28th April 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [16]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Byron migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Byron Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Byron, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841
  • Mr. Byron, European settler originally settled on Auckland Islands, transported aboard the ship "Earl of Hardwicke" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 26th August 1852 [17]
  • George Byron, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • James Byron, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • Beloria Byron, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Byron migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [18]
Byron Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Byron who settled in Barbados in 1664

Contemporary Notables of the name Byron (post 1700) +

  • George Gordon Byron (1788-1824), 6th Baron Byron, English poet, peer and politician, regarded as one of the greatest British poets, best known for his poems "Don Juan", "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," and "She Walks in Beauty"
  • Jeffrey Byron (b. 1955), born Timothy Paul Stafford, an American actor and co-writer of the movie script The Dungeonmaster (1985)
  • William McComas Byron Jr. (b. 1997), American professional stock car racing driver, winner of the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship and the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award in the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season and winner of both the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship and 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year
  • Kari Elizabeth Byron (b. 1974), American television host, best known for her role on the MythBusters and White Rabbit Project series
  • Major-General Joseph Wilson Byron (1892-1951), American Director of Special Service Division, Army Service Forces (1943-1946) [19]
  • David Byron (1947-1985), English Rock singer, best known as the front man of Uriah Heep
  • Robert James Byron (b. 1950), 13th Baron Byron, English Barrister
  • Kathleen Byron (1922-2009), English actress of stage, screen and television
  • Robert Byron (1905-1941), English writer
  • Sir Alan Gordon Byron (1887-1983), English soldier
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Edin Byron, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [20]

The Byron Motto +

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: Crede Byron
Motto Translation: Trust Byron.

Suggested Readings for the name Byron +

  • Byrams (also the Byron Family) in America by John Arnold Byram.

  1. 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)
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Burke, John and Burke, Sir Bernard, C.B. LL.D Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage . London: Harrison, 59, Pall Mall, 1865, Print.
  5. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  6. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  8. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  9. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  10. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  11. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 16)
  12. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from
  13. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from
  14. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th August 2021). Retrieved from
  15. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th March 2022). Retrieved from
  16. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st May 2021). Retrieved from
  17. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  19. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 3) Joseph Byron. Retrieved from
  20. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook