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Lloyd Family History
The Lloyd surname is Welsh in origin, and comes from the Welsh word for grey – 'llwyd'. It would originally have been used as a nickname, a custom which in Wales helped to differentiate one individual from another during a period in history before hereditary surnames were used in the country. Llwyd therefore could have been a description of an ancestor who had grey hair, a grey complexion or who predominantly wore grey.
Examples of the use of 'llwyd' in this manner can be seen in the names of Dafydd Llwyd ap Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Mathafarn (c.1420–1500), a poet from Llanwrin, Montgomeryshire, and Hugh ap Llewellyn Llwyd of Llanllyr who was Sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1586.
Lloyd is an anglicisation of 'llwyd' as is the related variant 'Floyd' (the English Floyd surname however derives from the word 'flood'). Both would have first appeared as surnames between the 16th and 19th centuries depending on where the families in question lived – the further west, the later they would have adopted hereditary surnames. High status families would also have adopted hereditary surnames such as Lloyd earlier than others.
Early bearers of Lloyd as a specific surname include Jenkin Lloyde of Montgomeryshire, Francis Lloyde of Caernarvonshire, and Griffith Loid of Radnorshire who appear on the Oxford University registers of 1577, 1578 and 1585 respectively.
The surname is found throughout Wales as well as in the adjacent English counties of Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire.
- Harold Lloyd (1893–1971), the famous silent movie actor, director, producer and stunt performer. Born in Nebraska, USA, his paternal great-grandparents, Stephen and Catherine Lloyd (born in the 1780s), were from Wales.
- David Lloyd George (1863–1945), a Liberal party Member of Parliament who was the Prime Minister of the UK between 1916 and 1922, the first ever Welsh Prime Minister. Born in Manchester to Welsh parents, he spent his childhood in Pembrokeshire, his father's native county, and later, after his father's death, in his mother's native home, Llanystumdwy in Caernarfonshire. 'Lloyd' comes from his mother's side of the family.
- Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959), US architect. His most famous works include the Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Fallingwater House in Pennsylvania. His mother was Anna Lloyd Jones (1839–1923) who had emigrated with her family from Cardigan, Wales to Wisconsin in 1844.
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain (1890) by Henry Brougham Guppy
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