Gwynnyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The old, proud name Welsh name Gwynnyn 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 Gwynnyn family
The surname Gwynnyn 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 Gwynnyn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gwynnyn 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 Gwynnyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gwynnyn Spelling Variations
Welsh 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 Gwynnyn has occasionally been spelled Wynne, Wynn, Wyn, Win, Gwynne, Gwynn, Winne, Winn, Gwinn, Gwinne and many more.
Early Notables of the Gwynnyn 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 Gwynnyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gwynnyn family to Ireland
Some of the Gwynnyn 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 Gwynnyn family
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 Gwynnyn: 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