Unwin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Unwin family

The surname Unwin was first found in Essex, but forms of Unwine, Unwyne, and Unwyn, occurred in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hunts, and Lincolnshire, in the 13th century. [1]

Another source claims the name could have dated back to Saxon times and in this case, the name literally meant "un-friendly" having derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "unwine" or "Unwene." [2]

And another source claims that the name was an old personal name, the same as Onwen. [3]

Whatever the origin, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had a multitude of listings and early spellings of the family: Philip Unwyne, Huntingdonshire; William Unwine, Cambridgeshire; William Onwinne, Oxfordshire; Reginald Hunwyn, Cambridgeshire; and Simon Unnewyn, Lincolnshire. [4]

Early History of the Unwin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Unwin research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Unwin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Unwin Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Unwin, Unwyn, Unwynn, Unwine and others.

Early Notables of the Unwin family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Unwin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Unwin migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Unwin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Georg Unwin, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [5]
Unwin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Unwin, who settled in Virginia in 1721
  • Martin Unwin, who arrived in New England in 1737 [5]
  • Francis Unwin, who settled in New England in 1770
Unwin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Earl Unwin, aged 9, who immigrated to America from Sheffield, in 1895
  • Eliz. A. Unwin, aged 25, who landed in America from Shipley, in 1897
  • George Unwin, aged 38, who landed in America from Nottingham, in 1899
Unwin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Edgar Walker Unwin, aged 36, who landed in America from London, in 1906
  • Elorine Winifred Unwin, aged 15, who landed in America from Cambridge, in 1906
  • Ada Unwin, aged 36, who settled in America from London, England, in 1909
  • George E. Unwin, aged 37, who immigrated to America from London, England, in 1909
  • Bertram Unwin, aged 21, who immigrated to the United States from New Market, England, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Unwin migration to Australia +

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

Unwin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Francis Unwin, English convict from Oxford, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Joseph Unwin, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 27th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Mr. Samuel Unwin, English convict who was convicted in Maldon, Essex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 2nd November 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Matthew Unwin, (b. 1787), aged 53, British Labourer who was convicted in Nottingham, England for 10 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1843 [9]
  • Mr. Charles Unwin, British Convict who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 12th March 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Unwin 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:

Unwin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Lewis Unwin, (b. 1839), aged 20, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th August 1859 [11]
  • Mr. Samuel Unwin, (b. 1821), aged 40, British farm labourer travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [11]
  • Mrs. Harriet Unwin, (b. 1822), aged 39, British settler travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [11]
  • Miss Sarah Unwin, (b. 1844), aged 17, British domestic servant travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [11]
  • Miss Harriet Unwin, (b. 1846), aged 15, British domestic servant travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Unwin (post 1700) +

  • Benjamin V. Unwin, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1956; Candidate for Michigan State Senate 6th District, 1956 [12]
  • Wing Commander George Cecil Unwin DSO, DFM & Bar (1913-2006), English RAF wing commander, his No. 19 Squadron was the first unit to receive the Supermarine Spitfire in 1938 and Unwin was one of the first to fly the machine (K9792) on 16 August
  • Sir Stanley Unwin (1884-1968), English publisher, co-founder of George Allen and Unwin in 1914
  • Thomas Fisher Unwin (1848-1935), English publisher, founder the publishing firm T. Fisher Unwin in 1882
  • Commodore Edward Unwin VC, CB, CMG (1864-1950), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Stephen Unwin (b. 1960), English theatre director
  • Stephen D. Unwin, English physicist
  • Paul Unwin (b. 1957), English Oscar and BAFTA nominated film and television director
  • Nora Sicer Unwin (1907-1982), English children's illustrator and author
  • Jim Unwin (1912-2003), English rugby union international player
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. John Edward Unwin (1920-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Collingwood, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [13]


  1. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1828
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th March 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/emma-eugenia
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1840
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th December 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eden
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  13. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp


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