Lynch (surname)

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Lynch is a surname of Anglo-Norman origin.

Lynch of Kent

The English surname of Lynch derives from the Norman de Lench family who came to England with King William the Conqueror and settled at Cranbrook in Kent as members of the Landed Gentry. The Lynch family were seated at Grove House in the village of Staple near Canterbury in Kent (now demolished), their family Arms consist of Three Lynxes Rampant and most of the family were buried in Staple parish church. Notable members of this family include: MP for Sandwich (1553-4) The Right Hon. Simon Lynch of Staple, Governor of British Jamaica Sir Thomas Lynch, High Sheriff of Kent (1714) Colonel John Lynch of Staple (whose maternal grandfather was Lord Bishop of London The Right Rev. John Aylmer), Royal chaplain & Dean of Canterbury Cathedral The Very Rev. Dr. John Lynch (who married the daughter of the Archbishop of Canterbury The Right Hon. William Wake), diplomat & MP for Canterbury The Right Hon. Sir William Lynch of Staple.

Lynch of Galway

In Irish, its original forms included

  • Ó Loingsigh – now Lynch, Lynchy, Lynskey, Lindsey.
  • Mac Loingsigh – Clynch, Lynch, Mac Glinchy, MacClintock, McClinton
  • Mac Loingseacháin – Lynchseanaun, Lynch
Map of Gaelic Ireland showing the territory of the Ulaidh or Ulidia (kingdom) circa 900 A.D.

Lynch may be a variant Anglicization of the Gaelic language surname Ó Labhradha. The Ó Labhradha were a chieftain clan of the ancient Ulaidh or Irish Uluti tribe. The Ó Labhradha last existed as a petty nation in the late 12th century A.D. in Gaelic Ireland’s Ulidia (kingdom).[1]

There were at least three unrelated families of this name in Gaelic Ireland, located in what is now County Clare, Cork, Louth and south-east Ulster, which was then the Kingdom of Ulidia. All are unrelated.

The most famous Irish Lynch family were one of the Tribes of Galway, and of Anglo-Norman origin. The original Norman-French form of the surname, de Linch, indicated a now unknown place of origin, probably in Normandy. It is this wealthy landowning line that Patrick Lynch, who moved to Argentina, was from; one of his descendants was Che Guevara.

Heraldry was introduced to Ireland by the Anglo-Normans. The earliest reference to a herald of arms for Ireland is 1382, when the herald of John Chandos was appointed Ireland King of Arms. In 1552 the Office of Ulster King of Arms was created by Edward VI. Thus Heraldry in Ireland has followed English practise and limited use of any given coat of arms to a single individual at a time.[2]

Arms recorded among the heraldic offices in Dublin and London include that of Lynch of Galway:[3]

  • Blazon: Azure a chevron between three trefoils slipt or.
  • Crest: A lynx passant azure collared or.
  • Motto: Semper Fidelis which is a Latin phrase meaning "always faithful".

See also


  1. John O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees; or, The Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation, 5th edition, in two volumes, originally published in Dublin in 1892, reprinted, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976, Vol. 1, p 819
  2. "History of the Office of the Chief Herald". National Library of Ireland. Retrieved 2 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Burke, Bernard (1884). "The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales". London: Harrison. p. 632.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>