Show ContentsLondon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name London date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the London family lived in the region of London. London is a habitation name from the broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties.

Early Origins of the London family

The surname London was first found in Berkshire, but there are two distinct thoughts as to the origin of the name.

The first is that it was derived from the Anglo-Saxon name Lunden or the Middle Welsh names Llundein or Lundein, as mentioned above. [1] In this case, it may have been a tribal or personal name. [2]

The second thought is that the family were in fact, Norman. In this scenario, the first record of the family was "William de Londres, one of the conquerors of Glamorgan, 1090, ancestor of the Lords Loundres of Naas." [3]

Continuing this thread, we found very early entries for the family in Bodmin, Cornwall. "The convent to which this refectory belonged, is said to have been founded originally by John de London, under the immediate patronage of Edmund Earl of Cornwall. The time of its foundation is dated by William of Worcester in the year 1229; but he calls its original founder, John, son of Ralph, lord of Kayryshays." [4]

This latter entry bodes well for the aforementioned Welsh entry. So as to complicate matters, Thomas de London settled in Scotland before 1163 and William and Robert London were listed in Normandy 1180-95, according to the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae. [3]

Early History of the London family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our London research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1640 and 1714 are included under the topic Early London History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

London Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like London are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name London include: London, Londen, Lunnen, Lundin, Lunden, Londoner, Londner and many more.

Early Notables of the London family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early London Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

London Ranking

In the United States, the name London is the 1,821st most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [5]

United States London migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name London or a variant listed above:

London Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John London, who sailed to Virginia in 1636
  • Humphrey London, who sailed to Virginia in 1639
  • Humphry London, who arrived in Virginia in 1639 [6]
  • Richard London, who settled in New England in 1654
  • Hum London, who landed in Virginia in 1658 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
London Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter London, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [6]
  • Martha London, who settled in Maryland in 1739
London Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A London, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [6]
  • John London, who landed in Arkansas in 1882 [6]

Canada London migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

London Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Bartholomew London U.E. (b. 1730) born in New Jersey, USA from Greenwich Township, Sussex County, New Jersey, USA who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1789 married twice having 9 children, he died in 1801 when he was murdered by his second wife Mary (née Osborn) [7]

Australia London migration to Australia +

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

London Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Eliza London, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth and Henry" on 11th February 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Jane London, aged 18, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Elgin" [9]

New Zealand London 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:

London Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Joseph London, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Henry London, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841
  • Henry London, aged 33, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Martha London, aged 35, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Henry William London, aged 14, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies London migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [10]
London Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Alice London, who settled in Barbados in 1665

Contemporary Notables of the name London (post 1700) +

  • Lauren Nicole London (b. 1984), American actress, known for her roles in ATL (2006), This Christmas (2007), Madea’s Big Happy Family (2011), Baggage Claim (2013), The Game (2013-2015), Games People Play (2019), and Without Remorse (2021)
  • J. Phillip "Jack" London (1937-2021), American executive chairman and chairman of the board of CACI International Inc
  • Gene London (1931-2020), born Eugene Norman Yulish, an American television personality and fashion designer
  • Herbert Ira London (1939-2018), American conservative activist, commentator, author, and academic, President of the Hudson Institute (1997-2011)
  • Irving M. London (1918-2018), American hematologist and geneticist, Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Jerry London (b. 1947), American film and television director
  • Jack London (1915-1988), American educator and sociologist
  • John Griffith "Jack" London (1876-1916), American author who is best known for his novel "The Call of the Wild"
  • Fritz Wolfgang London (1900-1954), German-born American physicist
  • Jason London (b. 1972), American actor
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Reginald J C London (b. 1912), English Sergeant serving for the Royal Marine from Churchill, Somerset, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [11]

Suggested Readings for the name London +

  • 200 Years of the London Family in America by Opal London Cox.
  • A Genealogical History of One Branch of the London Family in America Since 1636 by Hoyt H. London.

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. 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)
  4. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th March 2022). Retrieved from
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELGIN 1849. Retrieved from
  11. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook