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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Llewelyn 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."

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Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Llewelyn name over the years has been spelled Flewelling, Flewellen, Llewellen, Llewillan, Llewellyn, Alewellyin, Flewellyn, Flywillan, Fleuellan, Llewallin, Llewallyn, Flewellan, Flewellin, Llewellan, Lewellin, Lewellen, Lewillan, Lewellyn, Lywellen, Lywellin, Lewallin and many more.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Llewelyn research. Another 253 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1500, 1380 and 1415 are included under the topic Early Llewelyn History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 93 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Llewelyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Llewelyn:

Llewelyn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Llewelyn, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1869
  • William Llewelyn, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872
  • James Llewelyn, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1879

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  • Desmond Wilikinson Llewelyn (1913-1999), Welsh actor who played Q in the James Bond series of films, known for GoldenEye (1995), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and Thunderball (1965)
  • John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810-1882), Welsh botanist and photographer
  • Sir Robert Baxter Llewelyn KCMG (1845-1919), British colonial administrator, Governor of Grenada (1900-1906), Administrator of the Colony of the Gambia (1891-1900), Commissioner of Saint Lucia in 1891
  • Evan John Llewelyn (1875-1967), Australian politician, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Toowoomba (1925-1929)


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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  9. Evans, Gwynfor. Wales: A History: 2000 Years of Welsh History. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-120-2).
  10. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  11. ...

The Llewelyn Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Llewelyn Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 28 November 2015 at 07:55.

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