The notable Vyvyan family arose among the Cornish People
, a race with a rich Celtic heritage and an indomitable fighting spirit who inhabited the southwest of England
. While surnames were well-known during the English medieval period, Cornish People
originally used only a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames
came into common use is interesting. As the population of medieval Europe multiplied, 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. Patronymic
surnames were derived from given names and were the predominant type of surname among the Celtic peoples of Britain. However, the people of Cornwall
provide a surprising exception to this rule, and patronymic
surnames are less common among them than other people of Celtic stock, such as their Welsh
neighbors. This is due to the greater influence of English bureaucracy and naming practices in Cornwall
at the time that surnames first arose. This type of surname blended perfectly with the prevailing Feudal
System. One feature that is occasionally found in Cornish surnames of this type is the suffix -oe or -ow; this is derived from the Cornish plural suffix -ow. is a patronymic surname that came from the ancient Latin given name Vivianus,
which itself comes from the Latin word vivus,
One source notes that the "Vyvians of Truro are derived by certain genealogists from one Vivianus Annius, a Roman general, son in law to Domitius Corbulo!" CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early Origins of the Vyvyan family
The surname Vyvyan was first found in Cornwall
where the family has held a large estate named Trelowarren in the village of Mawgan-in-Meneage since 1427. The Halliggye Fogou at Trelowarren is the largest fogou in Cornwall
. Sir Richard Vyvyan referenced the fogou at Halligey, Trelowarren in his journals. In 1982, the site was excavated after routine ploughing of the field, breached the roof of the main chamber. This hole has since been turned into an entrance stairway for visitors. The first record of the surname was "Sir Vyel Vyvyan, Knight, who lived in the 13th century, and whose descendant John, having married an heiress of Ferrers, succeeded to the lordship of Trelowarren in the reign of Edward IV. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
Early History of the Vyvyan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vyvyan research.Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1772, 1545, 1610, 1601, 1601, 1607, 1575, 1635, 1613, 1665, 1640, 1665, 1613, 1724, 1681, 1736, 1660 and 1727 are included under the topic Early Vyvyan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Vyvyan 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 Vivian, Vey, Vye, Vyse and others.
Early Notables of the Vyvyan family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Hannibal Vyvyan (1545-1610), of Trelowarren in Cornwall
, an English Member of Parliament, High Sheriff
in 1601,Vice Admiral of South Cornwall
from 1601 to 1607; Sir Francis Vyvyan (1575-1635), of Trelowarren in Cornwall, an English Member of Parliament; Sir Richard Vyvyan, 1st... Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vyvyan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Vyvyan family to the New World and Oceana
A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Vyvyan: Charles Vye, a master ship builder who settled in Trinity, Newfoundland, in 1787; George Vey settled in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1803; Bastian Vey settled in Philadelphia in 1740.
Contemporary Notables of the name Vyvyan (post 1700)
- Sir Ralph Ferrers Vyvyan (b. 1960), 13th Baronet, High Sheriff of Cornwall (2008-2009)
- Sir Richard Rawlinson Vyvyan (1800-1879), 8th Baronet, British Member of Parliament
- Sir John Stanley Vyvyan (1916-1995), 12th Baronet
- Sir Richard Philip Vyvyan (1891-1978), 11th Baronet
- Sir Courtenay Bourchier Vyvyan (1858-1941), 10th Baronet
- Sir Vyell Donnithorne Vyvyan (1826-1917), 9th Baronet
- Sir Richard Vyvyan (1800-1897), 8th Baronet, British Member of Parliament, was listed as the ninth largest landholder in Cornwall with 9,738 acres
- Michael Vyvyan Spurway (1909-2007), British civil servant in the Colonial Service
- Sir Leonard Vyvyan Heathcote (1885-1963), 10th Baronet of Hursley
- Vyvyan Cox, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1964, 1972 CITATION[CLOSE]
The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
Vyvyan Family Crest Products
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html