Sylvan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Sylvan is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Sylvan family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Sylvan family lived in Nottingham, at the manor of Silvan.
The patriarch of the line "Joceus le Flamangh," who came to England at the Conquest, held the third part of a knight's fee in Cukeney in Nottinghamshire, and two ploughlands of the King "by the service of shoeing the King's palfrey on all four feet, with the King's nails, as oft as he should lie at his manor of Mansfield; and if he lame the King's palfrey, or prick him, or shoe him too strait, he shall forfeit to the King a palfrey worth four marks." His grandson Thomas built a castle at Cukeney during the war between Stephen and the Empress Maud, " when," says Surtees, "almost every landed gentleman in England turned his house into a peel or castlelet : "and after the peace, in Henry II.'s time, founded Welbeck Abbey. His only child was a daughter : but his brother, Ralph le Silvan, of Woodhouse, carried on the line, and was the father of Osbert Silvan, Sheriff of Notts in 1140. "His descendants held the manor of Woodhouse, in the Forest of Sherwood, at least as late as 1330, but were more frequently styled of Thorp-Salvin,* a small parish on the extreme Southern border of Yorkshire. 
*"The Salvins must have been settled at Thorpe-Salvin soon after the Conquest, and as they appear to have been a family of distinction, it is probable that the ancestor might be one of the two knights of De Busli mentioned in the Domesday Survey of Laughton." 
Early Origins of the Sylvan family
The surname Sylvan was first found in Nottingham where the family name is descended from a Norman noble Joceus le Flemangh who accompanied William the Conqueror into England and was granted part of a knight's fee at Cuckney in that shire.
Sir Gerard Salveyn (d. 1320), was an English judge, son of Robert Salveyn of North Driffield, Yorkshire. "The family claimed descent from Joce le Flemangh, who came over with the Conqueror and settled at Cukeney, Nottinghamshire, and whose grandson Ralph obtained the surname Le Silvan from his manor of Woodhouse." 
From this latter place, the Cuckeney variant hails. Another source notes, "Sir Osbert Silvayne, Knight of Norton Woodhouse, in the Forest of Sherwood, living in the 29th of Henry III"  is also claimed to be the progenitor of the family. The latter reference acknowledges the incongruity by noting that "some of the name ... were seated at Norton before the year 1140."  So, we must leave the true progenitor in question.
Thorpe-Salvin in the West Riding of Yorkshire was home to a branch of the family. "This place is situated at the junction of the counties of York, Derby, and Nottingham. It was anciently the property of the Salvin family, and subsequently of the Sandfords." 
Early History of the Sylvan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sylvan research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1348 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Sylvan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sylvan Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Salvin, de Salvin, Salwin, Silvan, Silvayne, Salvayne, Salvyn, Cuckney, Cucknay, Cukney and many more.
Early Notables of the Sylvan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Sylvan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sylvan family
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Sylvan or a variant listed above: George Salvin who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1846; Henry Cucknay who settled in Virginia in 1639.
Contemporary Notables of the name Sylvan (post 1700) +
- Sylvan Grisco, American politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, 2005 
- Sylvan Friedman, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Louisiana State House of Representatives, 1950 
- Sylvan Muldoon (1903-1969), American writer on the paranormal; he promoted the concept of astral projection (an out-of-body experience)
- Sylvan Saul Barnet (1926-2016), American literary critic and Shakespearean scholar
- Sylvan Nathan Goldman (1898-1984), American businessman and inventor of the supermarket shopping cart
- Sylvan Feld, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 9 aerial victories
- Sylvan Pauly, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Montana, 1944 
- Sylvan A. Jeppesen, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Idaho, 1961-68 
Related Stories +
The Sylvan Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Je ne change qu'en mourant
Motto Translation: I only change in death.
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, July 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 30) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html