Treleaven History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cornwall in southwestern England provides the original birthplace of the surname Treleaven. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. 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 Treleaven history began 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 Treleaven family

The surname Treleaven 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 Treleaven family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Treleaven 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 Treleaven History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Treleaven 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 Treleaven 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 Treleaven Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Treleaven migration to the United States +

A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Treleaven:

Treleaven Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Treleaven, aged 21, who immigrated to the United States from Cornwall, in 1892
  • Wm. A. Treleaven, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1893
Treleaven Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Arthur Treleaven, aged 34, who landed in America from England, in 1901
  • William Treleaven, aged 35, who immigrated to the United States from Annfald Plain, England, in 1906
  • Perceval James F. Treleaven, aged 23, who settled in America from Hayle, England, in 1909
  • R. Francis Treleaven, aged 19, who landed in America, in 1918
  • Reginald Treleaven, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States, in 1918
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Treleaven migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Treleaven Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Treleaven;, Cornish settler, from Wadebridge, Cornwall, UK departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he survived the sinking [4]

Australia Treleaven migration to Australia +

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

Treleaven Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Treleaven, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [5]
  • Elizabeth Treleaven, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [5]
  • John Treleaven, aged 33, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "David Malcolm" [6]
  • Michael Treleaven, aged 26, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "David Malcolm" [6]
  • Thomas Udy Treleaven, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "Lady Ann"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Treleaven 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:

Treleaven Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Treleaven, (b. 1838), aged 25, English farm labourer, from Devon travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st May 1863 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Treleaven (post 1700) +

  • Freeman Ferrier Treleaven Q.C. (1884-1952), Canadian lawyer and politician, two-time Mayor of Hamilton, Ontario
  • Richard L. Treleaven (1934-1981), Canadian former politician, Progressive Conservative Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1981 to 1987

HMS Royal Oak
  • Cyril Norman Earle Treleaven (d. 1939), British Musician with the Royal Marine aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [8]


The Treleaven 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. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/wreck_of_emigrant_ship_john_1855.pdf
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FAIRLIE/FAIRLEE 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Fairlie.htm
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 1st May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) David Malcolm 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/davidmalcolm1855.shtml
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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