Wenn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The old, proud name Welsh name Wenn is derived from the Welsh word "gwyn," which means "fair" or "white." It was a nickname for a person with light-colored hair or a pale complexion, or perhaps for someone who habitually wore white or pale-colored clothing.

Early Origins of the Wenn family

The surname Wenn was first found in Carnarvonshire (Welsh: Sir Gaernarfon), a former county in Northwest Wales, anciently part of the Kingdom of Gwynedd, and today divided between the unitary authorities of Gwynedd and Conwy, where this distinguished Welsh family claim lineal descent from Brochwel, Prince of Powys, who was Commander of the Welsh forces under Cadvan in the memorable battle near Chester fought with the Saxons under King Ethelred of Northumberland in the year 603.

Wini (d. 675?), was Bishop of London, an Englishman and probably a West-Saxon by birth. [1]

"The parish of St. Wenn [in Cornwall] seems to have derived its name from one of the large sainted family that came from Wales into Cornwall and Devon, and from whom so many parishes in each county have obtained their respective denominations. There in the deanery of Pyder, one valor points out Ecclesia Sanctae Wennae, as the other gives us Wen alias Wenman, that is Wenn's place; mann still signifying place in Welsh, once signifying it therefore in Cornish, and this church at Wenn's place being actually dedicated to St. Wenne." [2]

Early History of the Wenn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wenn research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1559, 1544, 1553, 1556, 1520, 1580, 1553, 1627, 1602, 1671, 1588, 1649, 1626, 1611, 1622, 1675, 1628, 1719, 1671, 1673, 1674, 1675, 1675, 1676, 1650, 1714, 1695, 1677, 1749, 1742, 1689, 1718, 1713, 1715, 1665, 1737, 1688, 1665, 1737, 1687, 1756, 1723, 1789, 1755 and 1841 are included under the topic Early Wenn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wenn Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Wenn name over the years has been spelled Wynne, Wynn, Wyn, Win, Gwynne, Gwynn, Winne, Winn, Gwinn, Gwinne and many more.

Early Notables of the Wenn family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was John Wynn ap Maredudd (died 1559), Head of the House of Aberffraw, High Sheriff of Caernarvonshire for 1544, 1553 and 1556; Maurice Wynn or Morys Wynn ap John of Gwydir (c. 1520-1580), Welsh courtier and politician who held the Gwydir estate; Sir John Wynn, 1st Baronet (1553-1627), a Welsh baronet; Henry Wynn (c. 1602-1671), a Welsh politician; Sir Richard Wynn, 2nd Baronet (1588-1649), was an English courtier and politician; Sir John Wynn (d. 1626), 1st Baronet Wynn of Gwydir in 1611, and after this line became extinct; Robert Wynne (1622-1675)...
Another 100 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wenn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wenn family to Ireland

Some of the Wenn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wenn migration to the United States +

The Welsh began to emigrate to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of land, work, and freedom. Those that arrived helped shape the industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. The records regarding immigration and passenger show a number of people bearing the name Wenn:

Wenn Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Wenn, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [3]
Wenn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Wenn, who landed in Mississippi in 1840 [3]

New Zealand Wenn 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:

Wenn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John E. Wenn, aged 19, a porter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rooparell" in 1874


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. ^ 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)


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