Gwinn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

From the Celtic land of Wales came the name Gwinn. This name initially evolved from person with light-colored hair or a pale complexion; the surname Gwinn may have also been applied to someone who habitually wore white or pale-colored clothing. The name Gwinn, one of only a few Welsh nickname surnames, is derived from the Welsh word "gwyn," which means "fair" or "white." Other references claim the name is derived from the words "llwch" meaning "dust" or gwin meaning "wine." [1] [2]

According to Welsh tradition, the Adar Llwch Gwin were giant birds given to Drudwas ap Tryffin by his fairy wife. The birds obeyed their master and assisted him in battle. The term later appeared in Welsh poetry to describe hawks, falcons and occasionally brave men.

Gwenwynwyn (d. 1218?), Prince of Powys, "was the eldest son of Owain Cyveiliog, prince of Powys. In 1186 he is first mentioned as joining with his brother Cadwallon in slaying Owain, son of Madog, by treachery. In 1196 he was engaged in war with Archbishop Hubert Walter and an army of English and North Welsh. His castle of Trallong Llewelyn was besieged and taken by undermining the walls; but the garrison escaped, and before the end of the year Gwenwynwyn again took the castle ." [3]

Early Origins of the Gwinn family

The surname Gwinn was first found in Breconshire (Welsh: Sir Frycheiniog), a traditional county in southern Wales, which takes its name from the Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog (5th-10th centuries.) "Gwyn, however, is a very old and has often been a distinguished South Wales name, especially in Brecknockshire." [4]

Thomas filius Win was listed in Shropshire in 1255; and Wyn, Win was found in Ellesmere in 1280. [5]

Early History of the Gwinn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gwinn research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1508, 1537, 1584, 1584, 1537, 1584, 1584, 1970, 1623, 1673, 1654, 1662, 1648, 1734, 1650, 1687, 1543, 1515 and are included under the topic Early Gwinn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gwinn Spelling Variations

The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Gwinn have included Gwynne, Gwin, Gwine, Gwinn, Gwinne, Gwyn, Gwynn and many more.

Early Notables of the Gwinn family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Saint Richard Gwyn (ca. 1537-1584), also known as Richard White, a Welsh school teacher, martyred high treason in 1584 but later canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970; George Gwynne (c 1623-1673), a Welsh politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1654 and 1662; Francis Gwyn PC (1648-1734), a Welsh politician and official; and Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gwinn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gwinn Ranking

In the United States, the name Gwinn is the 5,127th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Gwinn family to Ireland

Some of the Gwinn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gwinn migration to the United States +

Many Welsh families joined their Scottish and Irish neighbors during the late 1800s and early 1900s in seeking refuge in North America. Like the Irish and Scottish, many Welsh anxiously awaited the work, freedom, and opportunities that they believed lay in North America. Those who did journey over to the United States and what became known as Canada often realized those dreams, but only through much toil and perseverance. Whenever and however these Welsh immigrants arrived in North America, they were instrumental in the creation of the industry, commerce, and cultural heritage within those two developing nations. In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Gwinn were found:

Gwinn Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Gwinn, who landed in Virginia in 1660 [7]
Gwinn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Rowland Gwinn, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [7]
Gwinn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John R Gwinn, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [7]

Australia Gwinn migration to Australia +

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

Gwinn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Gwinn, (b. 1825), aged 23, English farm labourer who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 10 years for house breaking, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 1st January 1850, arriving in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gwinn (post 1700) +

  • Jeremiah Warren "Jerry" Gwinn (b. 1880), American football head football coach at Mississippi A&M in 1902
  • John Gwinn (1791-1849), United States Navy officer
  • L. Gwinn, American football coach
  • Donald "Don" S. Gwinn (1902-1961), American Olympic track and field athlete
  • Lambert Estes Gwinn (1884-1958), Tennessee educator, politician, and attorney
  • Henry Gwinn (1877-1955), American football player, track athlete, coach, and college athletics administrator
  • Ralph Waldo Gwinn (1884-1962), Republican member of the United States House of Representatives
  • Peter Gwinn, American comedy writer and improviser
  • Maurice Gwinn Burnside (1902-1991), American politician, U.S. Representative from West Virginia
  • Maurice Gwinn Burnside (1902-1991), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from West Virginia 4th District, 1949-53, 1955-57; Defeated, 1946, 1952, 1956 [9]

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William Logan Gwinn (d. 1912), aged 37, American Postal Clerk from New York City, USA who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [10]

The Gwinn 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: Vim vi repellere licet
Motto Translation: It is lawful to repel force by force.

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th September 2020). Retrieved from
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from
  10. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook