lanyon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The illustrious surname lanyon is classified as a habitation surname, which was originally derived from a place-name, and is one form of surname belonging to a broader group called hereditary surnames. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Topographic names, form the other broad category of surnames that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. lanyon is a place-name from in Lanyon, in Cornwall. This makes it a habitational name, which is a type of and is derived from an already existing place-name. There is little doubt that this family had their origin in Brittany; however, the Cornish place-name was in place long before this family came to England. However, it is quite possible that the place-name has similar roots in both Brittany and Cornwall, as the Cornish and Breton languages are quite similar.

Early Origins of the lanyon family

The surname lanyon was first found in Cornwall where they settled in Lanyon. They entered England with Queen Isabella, King Edward II's bride, from Brittany where they also held the lands of Lanyon. Another source claims that the name was in fact Norman having derived from the town of Lannion in Brittany. [1] In this case, they must have settled during the time of Edward II. Their estate was also named Lanyon.

"Another barton called Lanyon, [in the parish of Gwinear, Cornwall] took its name from a branch of an ancient family so called, and who continued to possess it from the reign of Edward II. until within a few years past. Hals, speaking of the family of Lanyon, says, that 'they came first into England with Isabel wife of Edward II. and settled themselves in those parts; among which, Lanyon's posterity have ever since flourished in genteel degree, between a justice of the peace, and a hundred constable.' About the year 1785, Lanyon was sold to the late John Thomas, Esq. of Tregolls. by whose sister it was carried in marriage to Admiral Spry, whose property it still remains. The elder branch of the Lanyon family is become extinct; but the descendants of the younger still continue. Of this younger branch Mr. Tobias Lanyon, surgeon of Camborne, is the present representative; by whose younger brothers the estate is still occupied." [2]

Early History of the lanyon family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our lanyon research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 176 and 1765 are included under the topic Early lanyon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

lanyon Spelling Variations

Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Lannyon, Lanyon, Lanyan, Lannyan, Lanion, Lannion, Lanine and many more.

Early Notables of the lanyon family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early lanyon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States lanyon migration to the United States +

Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name lanyon, or a variant listed above:

lanyon Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas James Lanyon, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1831

Australia lanyon migration to Australia +

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

lanyon Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Peter Lanyon (b. 1791), aged 26, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 27th March 1817, sentenced for 7 years for stealing items from Thomas Vigurs Lawrence and Catherine Roscrow, transported aboard the ship "Lady Castlereagh" on 22nd December 1817 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [3]
  • Mr. William Lanyon (b. 1767), aged 64, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 28th June 1831, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a chain from Boscaswell-Downs mine in St. Just, transported aboard the ship "Strathfieldsaye" on 22nd July 1831 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [4]
  • Mr. William Lanyon, (b. 1767), aged 64 born in Land’s End, Cornwall, UK convicted in Bodmin on 28th June 1831, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a chain, transported aboard the ship "Strathfieldsay" in 1831 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia, he died 31st May 1836 [5]
  • William Lanyon, aged 35, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "William Money" [6]
  • William Lanyon, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Trafalgar" [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand lanyon migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

lanyon Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Carolline Lanyon, (b. 1873), aged 9 months, Cornish settler departing on 7th May 1874 aboard the ship "Eastern Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 22nd July 1874 [8]
  • Mrs. Esther A. Lanyon, (b. 1846), aged 28, Cornish settler departing on 7th May 1874 aboard the ship "Eastern Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 22nd July 1874 [8]
  • Miss Louisa Lanyon, (b. 1867), aged 7, Cornish settler departing on 7th May 1874 aboard the ship "Eastern Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 22nd July 1874 [8]
  • Mr. Thomas Hy Lanyon, (b. 1844), aged 30, Cornish labourer departing on 7th May 1874 aboard the ship "Eastern Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 22nd July 1874 [8]
  • Miss Alice Lanyon, (b. 1855), aged 20, Cornish servant departing on 1st February 1875 aboard the ship "Cicero" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 19th May 1875 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name lanyon (post 1700) +

  • Sir Charles Lanyon (1813-1889), English architect of the 19th Century
  • Ted Lanyon (b. 1939), Canadian professional hockey player
  • Sir William Owen Lanyon (1842-1887), British administrator in South Africa
  • Peter Lanyon (1918-1964), British artist


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "WILLIAM MONEY" 1848-49. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849WmMoney.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The TRAFALGAR 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Trafalgar.htm
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf


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