Select Probyn Surname Genealogy

The name Probyn is of Welsh origin.  It comes from the Welsh ap Robin, meaning son of Robin.  Many P origin surnames come from the same roots. 

The transition to English-type surnames happened much later in Wales than it did in England.  The complex nomenclature of son of/son of etc in the Welsh form continued until well into the late 16th century.  Thus we have, in a deed transaction recorded in 1575 in Llanrwst, the purchaser being Robert ap Thomas ap Howell ap Robyn, an interesting mix of English and Welsh names in a Welsh style.

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Select Probyn Ancestry

Wales.  Under the English influence, ap Robyn began to translate into Probyn, Probin, Proby, and other variants, first in the border counties and later in the Welsh heartlands.  There was a Probyn family of some repute that held lands and estates in north Wales, as well as across the border at Oldcastle near Malpas in Cheshire.  The Probin spelling has persisted in north Wales, in Cheshire and elsewhere.  But generally Probyn has become the standard form. 

England.  In England, the largest concentration of Probyns has been in Gloucestershire.  Probyns can be traced to Newland near the Forest of Dean from 1570.  A Probyn family were tanners there over six generations. Additional Probyn bases were established in Gloucestershire when Sir Edmund Probyn in 1740 acquired the Longhope manor on the road to Ross-on-Wye and the Huntley manor a little to the north in Newent.  There were Probyns also across the border in present-day Gwent.  

Some Probyns migrated to London.  Sir Edmund Probyn made his name there in law, Sir Dighton Probyn in the army, and Sir Leslie Probyn in the diplomatic service. 

Select Probyn Miscellany

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

Select Probyn Names

Sir Edmund Probyn was a whig lawyer, a Judge of the Kings Bench, and Chief Baron of the Exchequer in the 1720s and 1730s. 
John Probin
of London and Birmingham was gunmaker to the Prince of Wales, later George IV.   
Sir Dighton Probyn
was the dashing captain in the English army when the Indian mutiny erupted in 1857. His gallantry in the fighting won him a VC.  He advanced to the rank of general and subsequently became a court figure (handling the delicate affairs of the Prince of Wales). 
Sir Leslie Probyn
was British Governor of Sierra Leone in West Africa in the early 1900s.  A guardsman at his official residence named his son, who later became President of the country, Siaka Probyn Stevens.
Jeff Probyn
was a tight end prop in the English rugby team in the 1980s and 1990s.

Select Probyns Today
  • 500 in the UK (most numerous in Gloucestershire)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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