Gunyan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Gunyan came from Gunwyn deriving its origin from the Old English gundwein, which meant "battle friend" or in some cases, as a baptismal name as in "the son of Gunwyn." [1]

Early Origins of the Gunyan family

The surname Gunyan was first found in Suffolk where "in Corton (Suffolk) in the reign of John, Gundewyn' de Nethergate held land which was held in 1275 by Gerald Gunwine or Gundwyne by heredity." [2]

Gundewinus cortinarius was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Surrey in 1130. From this early Latin entry, Thomas Gundewin was found in the Close Rolls of 1228 and William Gundewyne was later listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. [2]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had only one listing, Willelmus Gunwyn as holding lands there at that time. [1]

Early History of the Gunyan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gunyan research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1674, 1614, 1684, 1670, 1675, 1675, 1684, 1661, 1615, 1731, 1816 and are included under the topic Early Gunyan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gunyan Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Gunyan family name include Gunning, Guning and others.

Early Notables of the Gunyan family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Peter Gunning (1614-1684), an English Royalist church leader, Bishop of Chichester (1670-1675) and Ely (1675-1684), Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1661.)...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gunyan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gunyan family to Ireland

Some of the Gunyan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gunyan family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Gunyan surname or a spelling variation of the name include: John Gunning, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his servants; John Gunning settled in Philadelphia in 1836; and another John Gunning settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1799.



The Gunyan 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: Imperio regit unus aequo
Motto Translation: One governs with just sway.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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