Lewillyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Lewillyn surname is derived from the Welsh personal name Llewellyn, which was also spelled Llywelin. This name is often explained as meaning lion-like, but is in fact probably derived from the Welsh word "llyw," which means leader. The Welsh double l was a constant source of trouble to English speakers, and was often translated "f." "A very ancient Welsh personal name, borne by many princes and magnates of Celtic origin." 
Early Origins of the Lewillyn family
The surname Lewillyn was first found in Pembrokeshire (Welsh: Sir Benfro), a county in south-west Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth. The most famous and oldest reference of the name was Dafydd ap Llywelyn (c.1212-1246), Prince of Gwynedd from 1240 to 1246, the first ruler to claim the title Prince of Wales. His father was Llywelyn the Great (Welsh: Llywelyn Fawr) (c. 1172-1240), Prince of Gwynedd in north Wales who eventually became ruler over most of Wales. "Davydd ab Llewelyn died at Aber, about 1246, and was buried in the abbey of Conway." 
Over in Aberedow, South Wales "Llewelyn's Cave, is said to have been occasionally used as an asylum by that brave, but unfortunate, prince, Llewelyn ab Grufydd, the last royal defender of Welsh liberty and independence, against the overpowering army of Edward I." 
Early History of the Lewillyn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lewillyn research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1500, 1380 and 1415 are included under the topic Early Lewillyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Lewillyn 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 Lewillyn have included Flewelling, Flewellen, Llewellen, Llewillan, Llewellyn, Alewellyin, Flewellyn, Flywillan, Fleuellan, Llewallin, Llewallyn, Flewellan, Flewellin, Llewellan, Lewellin, Lewellen, Lewillan, Lewellyn, Lywellen, Lywellin, Lewallin and many more.
Early Notables of the Lewillyn family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Sir Dafydd ap Llewelyn ap Hywel (c. 1380-1415), better known as Dafydd Gam or Davy Gam, a Welsh medieval...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lewillyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Lewillyn family
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 Lewillyn were found: Ann Flewelling who purchased land in Virginia in 1643 and in the same year Thomas Flewelling settled in a nearby piece of property.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Institute of Historical Research, 1849, Print.