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To give a history of the name "Gwenlan", the following extracts are quoted......

From the book "The Surnames of Wales" by John & Sheila Rowlands":

Gwenlan is derived from Gwenllian, a traditional girl's name. The forename had considerable popularity in fifteenth century Wales (especially in the south) and in sixteenth to eighteenth century Glamorgan. Nevertheless, Gwenlan is found only rarely, in our survey just once in each of two counties: in Breconshire (Crickhowell hundred) and in Monmouthshire (Skenfrith hundred). Gaenor (a variant of Gwenhwyfar) may have produced the surname Gainor/Gainer (found in Anglesey and Monmouthshire in the same period). Possibly other names of similar origin could be found in the English border counties

From the book "Welsh Surnames" by TJ & P Morgan:


The early form was Gwenlliant, changing to Gwenllian, cf. Morcant/Morgan, ariant/arian, L argentum The i is a full vowel, i e not consonantal i, therefore the name has three syllables with the decent falling on the i. The abbreviation Gwen is used colloquially and the use of Gwen as the registered name is not uncommon The hypocoristic form Llio is obviously taken from the accented syllabic, it is not much used, and the form Gwenno is probably much oftener used today In the examples collected one finds some with initial W instead of initial Gw, and the -nll- inevitably causes difficulties of pronunciation and spelling When the name Gwenllian gets into an English context, (i e not controlled by Welsh usage) it will be subjected to the English tendency to place main stress on the first syllable and this pronunciation will tend to reduce the three syllables to two B') 147 Caern Subs 1293 Gwenllian wedes B2 254 BrecLIandov 13th century Wanthliane Filiae Houelli B10 69 W Wales 1352 Wenthlean Vergheynon, 72 et Wentllian filie Traharn ap Meuric Mer LSR 44 Wentliana filia Kerwiot, 48 Wentliana filia Hanalt [DNB & n John Maltravers 1290-1365, Lord Maltravers, - son John Maltravers d 1350 or 1360, leaving by his wife a son Henry and two daughter ] ADClun 27 Wenlliana, 49 Wenlliane dot, 168 Wellian, daughter of Lewelin Diom, 226 Gwenlian verch Howel Rayston CatAncDeeds VI c 1359 Monm 37 Henry VIII Wenleana William, c 1307 1 Henry IV Wenthliana in c 1486 Gwenllean vergh Angharat vergh Mally L & P VII 923(3) Welthyan Richard DLancaster 159 Caldicot 1613 Gwenlian vergh David InvECP 37 Cards 1538 Wenthlian 39 Cards 1547 Guenllean vergh Rice 49 Carms 1544 Gwenllyen verch David alias Margaret Harreys 54 Carms 1551 Gwenlliam vergh John 99 Denbs 1551 John ap David Floyd Guellian (Guenthan his wife) 206 Glam 1547 Gwenllyan (Gewllyan = Julian, as an approximation) MLSW 31 Gwenllian Flouen, 1098 Guellian ap (sic) Flouen HM i 428 Stone in Mamhilad Church 1718/9 'the body of Wenlian Lewis' PRCaerwent 1570 Gwenliana Alon


Oldbury 27 1725 6 Gwenthian Edwards 54 1725 Gwenthian Jones of Kinlet Wistanstow 24 1681 Gwynllion cf. Hopton Castle, 1'i 1625 Gwentlionilla Jones The PR of Llanddewi Rhydderch shows the name in the forms Wenlan, Gwenlan as surname m the seventeenth century 14 1697 Lewis ye son of Thomas Wenlan, 17 1704 Nov 3 bap Gulielmus fil Thomae Gwenlan. (see documents copied below...)

The will of Eustance Whitney of Clifford, Probate Hereford 1599, names 'Thomas Wenland and his children', RadsSoc XIX i7 this is probably a form of (G)wenlan

The name Gwenllian, generally in altered form is still found as a Christian name in English border counties:

Leominster, Whitney, Dora Gwenthllian Bent, Hope-in-Dinmore Gwenllyn Woolley Leominster town, Gwenlion Gwladys Kybett cf. New Radnor, Gwenthlin Stead.

Gwenlan as surname is found in: City of Gloucs, Hucclecote Ward p 22 BrRad, Vaynor South, Crickhowell 11, New poll, Allt-yr-yn 3.

Two famous "Gwenllian's" appear in Welsh history:
GWENLLIAN (1) (c.1097-1136) Princess of Deheubarth, daughter of GRUFFYDD ap Cynan and wife of GRUFFYDD ap Rhys (1). In 1136, whilst her husband was away in North Wales seeking assistance against the Normans, she joined the rebellion in the South, and led an army against Cydweli (Kidwelly). She and her two sons, Morgan and Maeigwn, were defeated by MAURICE de Londres, and Gwenllian herself was killed. The site of the battle became known as "Maes Gwenllian". More details of the story can be found here GWENLLIAN (2) (1282-1337) Only known child of LLYWELYN ap Gruffydd, by his wife Eleanor de MONTFORT. Following her father's death in 1282, she was captured and sent by King EDWARD I to a convent at Sempringham in Lincolnshire for the rest of her life.

From the Llanthewi Rhydderch Parish Register 1670 - 1783, transcribed by Joseph Bradney 1919, the following entries occur.....
Lewis Gwenlan Lewis Gwenlan, baptized 2 Nov. 1697
Gulielmus Gwenlan Gulielmus Gwenlan (Lewis' Brother), baptized 26 Nov. 1704 (Guliemus is Latin for William)
Thomas Gwenlan Thomas Gwenlan (Lewis & Gulielmus' Father), died 18 Apr. 1723
Anna Gwenlan Anna Gwenlan (Thomas' widow), died 6 Apr. 1724
Thomas Gwenlan Thomas Gwenlan (Thomas' Grandson) married Maria Charles, 29 May 1725
Gulielmus Gwenlan Guliemus Gwenlan, died 9 Jun. 1729
Thomas Gwenlan Thomas Gwenlan (Thomas & Maria's Son) married Anne Powell, 22 Sep. 1759

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