Gwynnan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The old, proud name Welsh name Gwynnan is derived from the Welsh word "gwyn," which means "fair" or "white." It was a nickname for a person with light-colored hair or a pale complexion, or perhaps for someone who habitually wore white or pale-colored clothing.
Early Origins of the Gwynnan family
The surname Gwynnan was first found in Carnarvonshire (Welsh: Sir Gaernarfon), a former county in Northwest Wales, anciently part of the Kingdom of Gwynedd, and today divided between the unitary authorities of Gwynedd and Conwy, where this distinguished Welsh family claim lineal descent from Brochwel, Prince of Powys, who was Commander of the Welsh forces under Cadvan in the memorable battle near Chester fought with the Saxons under King Ethelred of Northumberland in the year 603.
Wini (d. 675?), was Bishop of London, an Englishman and probably a West-Saxon by birth. 
"The parish of St. Wenn [in Cornwall] seems to have derived its name from one of the large sainted family that came from Wales into Cornwall and Devon, and from whom so many parishes in each county have obtained their respective denominations. There in the deanery of Pyder, one valor points out Ecclesia Sanctae Wennae, as the other gives us Wen alias Wenman, that is Wenn's place; mann still signifying place in Welsh, once signifying it therefore in Cornish, and this church at Wenn's place being actually dedicated to St. Wenne." 
Early History of the Gwynnan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gwynnan research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1559, 1544, 1553, 1556, 1520, 1580, 1553, 1627, 1602, 1671, 1588, 1649, 1626, 1611, 1622, 1675, 1628, 1719, 1671, 1673, 1674, 1675, 1675, 1676, 1650, 1714, 1695, 1677, 1749, 1742, 1689, 1718, 1713, 1715, 1665, 1737, 1688, 1665, 1737, 1687, 1756, 1723, 1789, 1755 and 1841 are included under the topic Early Gwynnan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gwynnan 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 Gwynnan have included Wynne, Wynn, Wyn, Win, Gwynne, Gwynn, Winne, Winn, Gwinn, Gwinne and many more.
Early Notables of the Gwynnan family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was John Wynn ap Maredudd (died 1559), Head of the House of Aberffraw, High Sheriff of Caernarvonshire for 1544, 1553 and 1556; Maurice Wynn or Morys Wynn ap John of Gwydir (c. 1520-1580), Welsh courtier and politician who held the Gwydir estate; Sir John Wynn, 1st Baronet (1553-1627), a Welsh baronet; Henry Wynn (c. 1602-1671), a Welsh politician; Sir Richard Wynn, 2nd Baronet (1588-1649), was an English courtier and politician; Sir John Wynn (d. 1626), 1st Baronet Wynn of Gwydir in 1611, and after this line became extinct; Robert Wynne (1622-1675)...
Another 100 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gwynnan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gwynnan family to Ireland
Some of the Gwynnan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 105 words (8 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 Gwynnan family
North America in the 1800s and 1900s saw the arrival of many Welsh people hoping to share in the wealth of land, work, and freedom that they felt North America held. Those who made the journey often attained those expectations, but only through an enormous amount of hard work, perseverance, and often a bout of good luck. These immigrants helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and culture of both Canada and the United States. Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Gwynnan: Thomas Wynne and his wife Catherine settled in Plymouth in 1620; the same year as the "Mayflower"; Ed Winn settled in North Carolina in 1701.
Related Stories +
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print