The illustrious surname Trelawnay finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England
known as Cornwall
. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England
, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames
were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal
System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal
territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic
names, the Cornish predominantly used local
surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People
at the time that surnames first came into use. Local
surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Trelawnay is a local type of surname and the Trelawnay family lived at Trelawny
in the county of Cornwall.
Early Origins of the Trelawnay family
The surname Trelawnay was first found in Cornwall
at Trelawny where "two manors so called exist in Cornwall
, and are situated respectively in the parish of Alternon and Pelynt. The former was the original seal of the Trelawnys, probably before the Conquest, and here they remained till the extinction of the elder branch in the reign of Henry VI." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
The famous Sir Jonathan Trelawny, 3rd Baronet
(1650-1721) was born at Trelawne (Trelawny) in the parish of Pelynt, Cornwall
. The Cornish national anthem is based on his ordeal. Trelawne House in the Pelynt parish dates back to the 13th century as was held at time by various member of the family.
Squire John Trelawney is a supporting character from Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island.
Early History of the Trelawnay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Trelawnay research.Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1420, 1397, 1413, 1421, 1421, 1449, 1563, 1568, 1592, 1664, 1680, 1682, 1633, 1706, 1691, 1756, 1598, 1643, 1633, 1630, 1666, 1659, 1666, 1592, 1664, 1623, 1681, 1646, 1680, 1650, 1721, 1688 and 1824 are included under the topic Early Trelawnay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Trelawnay Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and 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 of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England
, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations
often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall
and the rest of England
. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic
language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Trelawny, Trelawney and others.
Early Notables of the Trelawnay family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was John Trelawny I, English politician, Member of Parliament for Bodmin in 1397; and his son, John Trelawny II, Member of Parliament for Cornwall
(1413-1421); and his son, John Trelawny III, Member of Parliament for Liskeard in 1421 and Lostwithiel in 1449.
Continuing this line... Another 249 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Trelawnay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Trelawnay family to Ireland
Some of the Trelawnay family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 156 words (11 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 Trelawnay family to the New World and Oceana
An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Trelawnay: Robert Trelawney settled in Virginia in 1643.
The Trelawnay 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: Sermoni consona facta
Motto Translation: Deeds agreeing with words.