Brythonic in origin, the name of Onians came from the rugged landscape of Wales
. The name is from the common Welsh personal name
Enion. The Old Welsh
form of this name was Enniaun, which is ultimately derived from the Latin name Annianus. The name is also associated with the Welsh
word "enion," which literally means "anvil" and connotes the qualities of stability and fortitude. Some experts also associate the surname Onians with the Welsh
word "uniawn," which means "upright" or "just." One of the most celebrated bearers of this forename was Einion (or Enyon), a 11th century Welsh
warrior-prince and the son of Collwyn. He played a significant role in the legend of the Conquest of Glamorgan by the Normans
. It is generally believed that he built Port Eynon castle near Swansea, but evidence of the early castle has been lost. Port Eynon (also spelt Port Einon) still survives today as a village and community in the city and county of Swansea.
Early Origins of the Onians family
The surname Onians was first found in Sussex
, where they held a family seat
from early times. The family name is derived from a very popular Welsh personal name
. In the 11th century Einion was a Welsh
prince and warrior, son of Collwyn. Prince Einion played a great part in the famous legend of the Conquest of Glamorgan by the Normans
. Today Port Eynon (Port Einon) is a village in Swansea, Wales
. In England
, the personal name
can be found in Shropshire
as early as 1159, where Ennian filius
Gieruero was registered.
Early History of the Onians family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Onians research.Another 171 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Onians History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Onians Spelling Variations
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 Onians name over the years has been spelled Einion, Ennian, Annian, Anyan, Einion, Ennion, Enions, Inion, Inions, Innion, Innions, Ineon, Eneon, Onion and many more.
Early Notables of the Onians family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Onians Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Onians family to Ireland
Some of the Onians family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 39 words (3 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 Onians family to the New World and Oceana
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 Onians: Alice Onion, who settled in Virginia in 1653; with her husband Thomas; George Onion settled in Virginia in 1624 with his wife Elizabeth; Mary Onion and her husband who arrived in Barbados in 1654.
Contemporary Notables of the name Onians (post 1700)
- John Onians (b. 1942), BA PhD FSA, is a British Professor Emeritus of World Art at the University of East Anglia
- Richard Onians, Lecturer