The Gauyan 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. Sir Gawaine was the hero of the battle with the giant Rhyence: 'That Gawain with his olde eurtesie.' Chaucer, The Squire's Tale. Independently, the surname Gauyan 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.
Early Origins of the Gauyan family
The surname Gauyan was first found in Wiltshire
, where "the Gawens of Norrington, in the parish of Alvideston, continued in that place four hundred
fifty and odd yeares. On the south downe of the farme of Broad Chalke is a little barrow called Gawen's Barrow, which must bee before ecclesiastical lawes were established." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
The Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273 list Goselena filius
Gawyne in Cambridgeshire
and the Yorkshire Poll Tax
Rolls of 1379 list Peter Gowyn and Emma Gawyn. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the Gauyan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gauyan research.Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gauyan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gauyan Spelling Variations
surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations
. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh
variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh
surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh
names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic
language of the Welsh
had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations
of particular Welsh
names are very important. The surname Gauyan has occasionally been spelled Gawen, Gaven, Gavin and others.
Early Notables of the Gauyan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Gauyan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gauyan family to the New World and Oceana
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 Gauyan: 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..