Lloyd Surname Genealogy

Lloyd derives from the Welsh word lwyd, meaning “gray.” It probably applied first as a nickname, for a grey haired person at a time when few lived to be old,or perhaps a holy man who habitually wore grey garments. The Welsh “Ll” in Lloyd was sometimes represented by “Fl,” yielding a related surname Floyd. Lloyd and Floyd could be interchangeable in earlier times.
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Lloyd Ancestry

Wales. The Lloyd
family of Maesyfelin
in Cardiganshire is believed to date
back to a Welsh ancestor who captured Cardigan castle from the Norman
invaders in 1164. The first of this family to adopt the Lloyd
name was Gwilym Lloyd in the 14th century. The main branch moved
to Carmarthenshire in the early 1600’s. But other Lloyds came
into the Cardigan area, notably the 18th century farmer and poet David

As English-style surnames started to replace the old Welsh patronymical
names, the Lloyd name began to appear in north Wales. Meredith
Lloyd lived at Llanelian-yn-Rhos in Denbighshire in the mid
1500’s. His son George was a bishop, best remembered for Bishop
Lloyd’s palace in Chester built in the early 1600’s. Another
Lloyd family held lands near Bala in Merionethshire, first at Rhiwaedog
and then at Hendwr.

Even Teg (Evan the Handsome) of Dolobran in Montgomeryshire took the
Lloyd name in 1476. Seven generations later, Charles Lloyd joined
the Quakers in 1662 and was one of the group imprisoned in Welshpool
jail. He languished there for ten years for refusing to swear the
oath to the King. His brother
Thomas Lloyd,
also imprisoned, later departed for America. One of his sons Charles stayed home and built a Quaker meeting house at Dolobran, another son Sampson, who had been born in jail, moved to Birmingham in England.

Later distribution of the Lloyd name showed a shift to Glamorgan and Monmouthshire in south Wales. 

England.  The Lloyds of north Wales extended into the border counties of Shropshire and Cheshire in England. The Lloyds of Leaton Knolls in Shropshire were descended from Madoc Lloyd, “lord of Chirk” in Wales. Robert Lloyd held Aston Hall near Oswestry in the late 1500’s. Later Roberts of this family were MP’s for Shropshire in the 18th century.  There was a Lloyd family of judges and legal clerks based in Chester in the late 18th century.

Sampson Lloyd arrived in Birmingham from Wales in 1698 and bought and operated iron forges in the area. He was for a short time running the largest steel foundry in Britain. In 1765 his son Sampson Lloyd II formed a company with a button maker John Taylor and his own son, Sampson III, to create Birmingham’s first bank. It prospered under Sampson III and his step-brother Charles as Lloyds Bank and it still does.

Lloyds also became a household name through Edward Lloyd who kept a coffee-house in Lombard Street in city of London in the 1690’s. His premises became a centre of shipbroking and the marine insurance business at that time and it was from him that the great commercial corporation known as “Lloyd’s” derived its name.

Some Lloyds made it to Ireland. In the
early 1800’s William Lloyd from Yorkshire married into the Anglo-Irish
Whitelocke family who owned Strancally castle in Waterford. One
family history traces the Lloyds of Doon in Limerick.

. Thomas Lloyd, a Quaker and brother of Charles,
took his family to Pennylvania with William Penn in 1683. He died
there in 1694. Another Quaker from Wales, David Lloyd, arrived
there in 1686 and served as its Attorney General and later Chief

Wye House
on the eastern shore of Maryland was the historic home of the
Lloyd family for eight generations, starting with Edward Lloyd in the
1660’s. The original house, that had been burnt by British
marauders during the
Revolutionary War, was replaced by a new structure in 1790.
Edward Lloyd IV served as Governor of Maryland from 1809 to 1811.

Canada. A Quaker family
of Lloyds left their home in Pennsylvania and crossed over to Niagara
in Canada in the early 1800’s. Much later Jesse Lloyd was
involved in a political rebellion and fled the country in 1837. A
Government notice described him as follows:

“Long straight hair rather thin and
turning gray – stoops very much in his gait, has scarcely any
teeth left – one remarkably prominent, which is much observed when
he speaks, very round-shouldered, height about five feet ten or eleven
inches; generally dresses in a drab or brown homespun clothing.”

Maybe this would also describe the early Welsh lwyd or Lloyd. Jesse Lloyd himself
died in America the following year.

Lloyd Miscellany

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

Lloyd Names

Edward Lloyd ran a coffee shop in London which was the centre
of shipbroking and marine insurance in the late 1600’s. As a
result insurance in London today means Lloyd’s of London.
Sampson Lloyd was the
co-founder in Birmingham in 1765 of the bank that eventually became
Lloyds Bank.
Harold Lloyd was an American
film producer, famous for his comedies during the silent era.
Clive Lloyd, born in Guyana,
was the West Indies cricket captain between 1974 and 1985 when the West
Indies cricket team was the best in the world.
David Lloyd was the former
English tennis player who founded the David Lloyd health clubs.

Select Lloyds Today

  • 65,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 23,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 33,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)


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