Trelawny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Trelawny history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Trelawny history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Trelawny family originally lived at Trelawny in the county of Cornwall. The name literally means "an open or clean town." [1]

"This ancient and truly respectable family, are supposed to have deseended from Hamelin, who held Treleon and several other manors under the Earl of Moreton, when Doomsday Survey was taken. They derive their name from the manor of Trelawny in Alternon, which was the ancient family residence." [1]

Early Origins of the Trelawny family

The surname Trelawny 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." [2] [3]

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.

The fictional Squire John Trelawney is a supporting character from Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island.

Early History of the Trelawny family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Trelawny research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1420, 1634, 1756, 1636, 1589, 1615, 1680, 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 Trelawny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Trelawny 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 Trelawny 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 was John Trelawny (died 1563), Member of Parliament for Liskeard; and his son, John Trelawny (died 1568), Member of Parliament for Lostwithiel and Cornwall, High Sheriff of Cornwall; Sir John Trelawny, 1st Baronet (1592-1664), Royalist during the English Civil War; John Trelawny (died 1680), Member of Parliament for West Looe...
Another 199 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Trelawny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Trelawny migration to the United States +

In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Trelawny

Trelawny Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Trelawny, who landed in Maine in 1643 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Trelawny (post 1700) +

  • Sir Jonathan Trelawny (1650-1721), English prelate
  • Edward John Trelawny (1792-1881), English biographer, novelist, and adventurer
  • Sir William Trelawny, 18th Century Governor of Jamaica, eponym of Trelawny Parish, Jamaica
  • Sir John Barry Salisbury Trelawny,
  • Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse (1864-1929), British liberal politician and proponent of social liberalism, born in St Ive, near Liskeard in Cornwall

The Trelawny 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.

  1. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^ 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) on Facebook
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