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2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

This is a place holder for this One-Name Study profile page.

Variant names

Lightwine Lightwin Lightwyn

Name origin

Speculation about the origins of this unusual name makes interesting reading. Some possibilities include a link with The Dutch surname Ligterink possibly coming across with the Huguenot or Walloon immigration. It may also be derived from a place name or or possibly have evolved from the surname Leighton.

Historical occurrences of the name

I have collected references to this unusual surname for nearly 40 years. I can confirm its origins in East Anglia and have shown three subgroups within the United Kingdom. The majority of them can trace their ancestry to a small area within 10 miles of the town of Wymondham . Records in my database go back to the mid-13th century. Hervey Lightwine was bailiff of Colchester in 1285. John Lightwine was president of Caius College and Proctor of Cambridge University in the late 17th century. Is my intention to create a web page and blog and to build on the work I've already done including an expansion of my own DNA study. Y chromosome analysis. Apart from the references above there are only two other mentions of the name worldwide. Firstly James Lightwing who is transported to Australia in 1827 from the same area outlined. Secondly the family with the surname living in Illinois USA between 1850 and 1900.

Name frequency

Despite its longevity there are still only around 100 people worldwide with the surname .

Distribution of the name

Until the mid 18th century all instances of this surname were found in East Anglia. Subsequently with three main movements associated with industrial revolution with one single ancestor moving to Cleveland North Yorkshire to work in the ironstone mines and the second moving to London. Both brought up large families who you have descendants to the present day. The third individual moved west to Birmingham and then on to London but sadly has no surviving descendants. There remain a large group still living in East Anglia. James Lightwing who was transported to Australia in 1827 had no surviving descendants. The origin of the Lightwings residing in The USA appears to be linked to one or more German immigrant families with the surname Lichtwein.


My personal Y chromosomal analysis has indicated a Viking origin.This has already confirmed the connection between the Yorkshire and London groups of Lightwings suggesting a common ancestor within 8 generations. Despite the geographical and DNA evidence firm genealogical proof of s common ancestor linking the two trees remains elusive!See