This interesting surname is of Welsh origin, and was used as a nickname for a person with fair hair or a noticeably pale complexion. The name is derived from the Welsh "gwyn", light, white, fair. The name was also used as a personal name in the Middle Ages. However, in most of the earlier recordings of the name, it was used as a byname, a distinguishing epithet, or to identify two bearers of the same name, such as John Wyn ap (son of) Hugh Gwyn. Gwynne must have come from an English pattern, as Welsh writing is phonetic and the "-e" would, therefore, produce a misleading pronunciation. The modern surname can usually be found as Gwyn, Gwynn and Gwynne in South Wales and as Wyn(n), Wynne and Winn in North Wales. Among the sample recordings in Wales is the christening of John, son of Marmaduke Gwynne and Mary Gwillym, on May 3rd 1669 at Typn, in Brecon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Gwynne, which was dated 1481 - 1482, in the "Feet of Fines for Surrey", during the reign of King Henry V1, known as "The Founder of Eton", 1422 - 1485. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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