Select Wynn Miscellany


Here are some Wynn stories
accounts over the years:


Gwydir Castle and the Wynns


recorded owners of Gwydircastle in Caernarvonshire were the Coetmores,
who were
responsible for building the Hall Range, the earliest
surviving part of
the house.
Following the Wars of the Roses, the castle was rebuilt around 1490
by Meredith ap Ieuan ap Robert, founder of the Wynn dynasty and a
regional supporter of King Henry VII. Originally a fortified manor
Gwydir acquired additions in the 1540’s, incorporating reused gothic
material from nearby Maenan Abbey.  A turret was added around
this time and Sir John Wynn’s initials can be seen above the main
in the
courtyard gatehouse along with the date of 1555.  The
given an Elizabethan porch and gardens in
the 1590’s.
The Wynns were supporters of King Charles I.  John
Williams, his Lord Keeper, stayed at
Gwydir. And the King himself is said to have visited in 1645 as guest
of Sir
Richard Wynn, Treasurer to Queen Henrietta Maria and Chief Groom of the
castle has the reputation for being one of the most haunted houses in
the “Grey Lady” being the most commonly seen together with the ghost
of a monk said to have been trapped in a tunnel leading from the secret
and Sir John Wynn himself.  Judy Corbett’s
2004 book Castles in the Air described some of these

Wynn and Variants in the UK

in the UK is mainly but not solely a
Welsh-origin name.  It comes in many
spelling variations.  Wynn, Wynne, Winn,
Gwynn, and Gwynne are all found today.
The spelling in the 16th century could be interchangeable.
Robert Wynn of Conway in north Wales, for instance, was recorded as
Gwynne, Wynn, and Wynne at various times in his career.

spelling had stabilized by the 19th century.  The surname
distribution in the 1881 UK census can give us some
clarity as to where each of these names has been concentrated.  

and Wynne

and Wynne are clearly closely
related.  Wynne is strongest in North
Wales (principally Denbighshire) and extending into Cheshire and
Lancashire.  Wynn was more found in the
English border counties such as Shropshire and Gloucestershire.  

and Gwynne

has been the more common and has been
mainly found in south Wales, notably in 1881 in Glamorgan.
Gwynn is more the English spelling.  


does appear to have different
origins.  The main numbers were to be
found down the East Coast of England, principally in Yorkshire but
into Lincolnshire.  There was a small
enclave also in Cornwall, reflecting possibly the Cornish variation on
Welsh name

Reader Feedback – The Winns
from Thornton Stewart

The Winns from Thornton Stewart in north Yorkshire were my
lot.  The name I believe comes from Patrick Brompton and I think
that these Winns were related to Francis Winn of Prior House in Bedale
was Mayor of Richmond.  The surname was spelt Wynd in Bedale.

There is someone who has said that my Winns owned a coach
with the same crest as the Winns from Nostell Priory (who spelt their
name Gwinn on occasions).  However, this coach story is just

Julie Brutnell (


Winville at Askrigg in North Yorkshire

opposite the Post Office was the residence of
George Winn and his wife Elizabeth.
George was born in 1808 at Nappa Hall in Askrigg along with his
brother John who became the vicar of St Andrews Church in Aysgarth.  George followed the family tradition and
became a solicitor and local councillor, as was his son William.

is now the White Rose Hotel.


Dr. Thomas Wynne
the Barber Surgeon

Thomas Wynne, a self-declared doctor or “barber surgeon”
as he was called, was a prominent Quaker in north Wales, one who had
arrested and imprisoned for six years in Denbighshire.
In 1681 he learned about William Penn, came
to London, and was on the Welcome
with Penn to Pennsylvania a year later, acting as his personal

settled in Philadelphia.  His home Wynnestay,
built in 1689, is one of the oldest extant buildings in Philadelphia
(now to be
found near Wynnefield station).

Wynne died in Philadelphia in 1692.
Jonathan, a son by his first wife Martha, was his heir and made
his home
at Wynnestay.  Two
Jonathans later the Wynns acquired for
themselves in 1774 a farmhouse in Chester county


The Wynne Family of Wills
Point, Texas

Wynne was the son of a poor Rusk county farmer
from Tennessee who rode into Wills Point, east of Dallas, in 1877 with
but a rifle and a pair of lawbooks in his saddlebags.

Dad, as his grandchildren came to call
him, was the forebear of a flamboyant clan that has given contemporary
Texas such
necessities as the Styrofoam cup (invented by a Wynne on his mother’s
the Cattle Baron’s Ball (in 1973), as well as Texas’s answer to
Disneyland – Six Flags Over Texas opened by Angus
Wynne Jr. in Arlington in 1961.  His son
Shannon is a Dallas restauranteur best known for his Flying
Saucer Draught Emporium


The Winn
Family in South Australia

Family arrived in South Australia on the sailing ship Shack-O-Mackson
in 1852. Richard Winn was an experienced farmer and
settled at Coromandel Valley.  Their
eldest son Oliver became a butcher, whereas their third son Walter,
born in
1862, took over the family business when he was only eighteen and
became a
baker.  Walter married Margaret Fisher and
they raised four children.

young children and the bakery and general store, the Winn family had a
life. After returning from the First World War, their son Hector would
over the business.   In
1970 the Coromandel Valley and District branch
of the National Trust was offered their building as a museum


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