Byron Surname Genealogy

Byron surname originates from the place-name Byrom found
in both Lancashire and Yorkshire.  This
place-name, derived from the Old English byrum
from byre meaning “barn” or “byre,”
could be translated as “at the cattle shed.
Byron Resources on

Byron Ancestry

England.  Ralph
de Burun
was a Norman knight who held Horestan Castle in
Derbyshire by 1086 and possibly before.  A
hundred years later, his descendant Robert took possession through
marriage of
Clayton Hall in Lancashire and adopted the name of Byron.

Clayton Hall was to be the Byron home for the
next three hundred years.   By the
1400’s Sir John Byron had established himself as one of the leading
figures in
Lancashire.  A later Sir John, known as
“Little Sir John with the great beard,” was the High Sheriff of
Lancashire in
Elizabethan times.

were to be found at Clayton, Colwick
and Newstead Abbey
.  It was Sir
John who acquired Newstead Abbey,
the former Augustinian priory in Nottinghamshire, in 1540 at the time
of the
dissolution of the monasteries. The line
continued in the 17th century with John Byron, a Royalist supporter
during the
Civil War created the First Baron Byron, and in the 18th century with
brothers William and John Byron:

  • William
    became the 5th Baron Byron in 1736.  He was
    known as the Wicked Lord Byron
    and he descended into madness and scandal
    before his death in 1798.
  • while
    John became a Vice-Admiral in the British navy who
    circumnavigated the world in 1765.  His son
    John, known as “Mad Jack,” died young at the age of thirty five; and
    his grandson
    George, better known as the famous Romantic poet Lord Byron, became the 6th Lord
    Byron in 1798.

the poet’s death in Greece in 1824, the title reverted to his cousin, a
naval officer, and has continued until the current 13th Baron Byron of
today.  The Byron history was recorded in Mark Byron’s 1985 book
The Byron Chronicle.

Ireland.  Luke Byron was a soldier from Yorkshire with
Cromwell who was granted lands in Wexford.
His descendants were to be found in New Ross and Wexford city.  Luke’s great grandson John Byron emigrated to
Nova Scotia in 1816, but died there soon after.

The Byron name was to be found
elsewhere in Ireland in Dublin and Antrim.
It has also cropped up in Roscommon and Tipperary.
Byron here could be a variant spelling of the
Irish Byrne.

America.  There was a Henry Byrum who
came to Essex
county, Virginia from Lancashire as an indentured servant in 1696.  But most Byrons arrived from Ireland not
England and their Byron name may have been an anglicized one.

Joseph Byron from
Wexford came via Nova Scotia where he had been apprenticed to a tanner.  He moved to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1832
where he started a leather tanning business.
This was then continued by his son William who opened new
tanneries in
the 1890’s in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania and Williamsport in western
Maryland. The tannery business continued
in family
hands until financial problems caused the Byrons to sell out in 1976.

In the
interim the Byrons had become involved in Maryland politics.  Three generations of the Byron family were
mayors of Williamsport; two Byron family members died in office as US
Congressmen and were replaced by their wives in “widow mandate” elections; and one Byron
represented Maryland
in both houses of Congress and served as a judge on two federal benches.

Byron Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Byron Names

de Byron
the Lord of Clayton in Lancashire in the late
1100’s, was the first to adopt the name of Byron.
Vice Admiral John Byron,
known as
Foul-weather Jack, circumnavigated the world in 1765.
, George Gordon Byron, was the famous Romantic poet of the
early 19th

Select Byrons Today

  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 3,000 in America (most numerous in Florida)
  • 3,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)




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