Gwinne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

From the Celtic land of Wales came the name Gwinne. This name initially evolved from person with light-colored hair or a pale complexion; the surname Gwinne may have also been applied to someone who habitually wore white or pale-colored clothing. The name Gwinne, 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 Gwinne family

The surname Gwinne 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 Gwinne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gwinne 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 Gwinne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gwinne Spelling Variations

There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Gwinne have included Gwynne, Gwin, Gwine, Gwinn, Gwinne, Gwyn, Gwynn and many more.

Early Notables of the Gwinne 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 Gwinne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gwinne family to Ireland

Some of the Gwinne 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.

Migration of the Gwinne family

During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Gwinne: Charles Gwyn who arrived in Barbados in 1654; Paul Gwyne settled in Barbados with wife, children and servants in 1680; James Gwynn settled in Maryland in 1774.



The Gwinne 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)


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