Palin Surname Genealogy

most likely origin is Welsh, from the patronymic ap Heilwyn (son of Heilwyn), where
Heilwyn is a personal name originally meaning “wine bearer.” A
Goronwyn ap Heilyn was ambassador to King Llewellyn in the late 13th
This ap Heilwyn would later
contract to “Palin” across the border in England. The name was
mainly to be found in the English border counties (while
the possibly related “Paling” occurred in the East Midlands). Llewellyn
ap Heilyn who had fought and won with Henry Tudor at Bosworth
Field might have established a well-known Palin name in England.
However, this family became Meyricks instead after his son Meyrick ap
Palin is also a Finnish
surname. Saija Palin, for instance, was a former Miss
Finland. And Palin Granit is a well-regarded
Finnish public
company. A Palin whose name was shortened from Palinski suggests
another country origin.

Resources on

Palin Ancestry

The Palin surname didn’t stick in Wales – but it did in the English
border counties, most notably in Cheshire.

Cheshire. One
family traces
their Palins back to the Cheshire village of Aldford
in the
1620’s. William Palin of this family was a dairy farmer at
Stapleford Hall near Chester in the early 19th century. Another William Palin from
Aldford was appointed Chief Constable of Manchester in 1857.

John Palin, born in
Malpas, fought in the Crimean War and then in the American Civil War. He survived and returned to tell the
tale. William Palin was a clockmaker in
Nantwich in the early 1800’s. The Palin
name was also to be found in nearby villages such as Wybonbury, Monks
Coppenhall, and Warmingham

As the 19th century
proceeded, many Palins moved north into Liverpool and
industrial Lancashire. Cheshire Palins
also crossed over to neighboring Staffordshire – with the engraver
Palin at Hanley and with his son William Mainwaring Palin

who was a noted figure painter of the late 19th century. A
descendant was
the Air Chief Marshal, Sir Roger Palin

London. The
roots of the TV comedian and writer Michael Palin were in London. His great grandfather Edward Palin was born there in 1826, the son of an
storehouse clerk. Edward became the
vicar of Lindon in Herefordshire in 1865.
A highly intelligent man, he was the subject of Allan Ricketts’
booklet The Palin Assignment.

There was another Edward Palin from London,
born around the same time, who was the son of Charles Vyse Palin, a
straw hat
maker in Holborn. He too became a straw
hat maker, based in St. Albans. His home
there was Verulam House.

America and Canada.
Several Palins crossed the

  • Henry Palin,
    a Quaker, came to
    Newbegun Creek in 1663 and was one of the earliest settlers in the
    Carolinas. His descendants established themselves along the
    river in North Carolina for the next 200 years.
  • another
    Palin family was said to have had Indian blood in them
    their sojourn in New York state. They
    migrated first to Nebraska and then to Montana.
  • Richard
    came to
    Canada in 1866 and settled in Barrie, Ontario.

The Palin line in Alaska (Sarah Palin and her
husband Todd) started with a Richard Palin from Lancashire who arrived
in Canada in the 1890’s and whose son later moved to the US West Coast.

More Palin immigrants to America in the 19th century came from
than they did from England.

Select Palin Miscellany

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

Select Palin Names

M. Palin was a noted English figure painter of the late 19th
was a comic actor in the Monty
TV series and
more recently has made a name for himself with his travel
Sarah Palin, former Governor of
Alaska, was the US Republican Vice-Presidential candidate for 2008.

Select Palins Today

  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Cheshire)
  • 1,000 in America (most numerous
    in Florida).
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia).




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