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About the study


Name origin

The earliest reference I have found to the Wyon surname is John Wyon, vicar of Renhold in Bedfordshire, England between 1489 and 1528. The origin of the surname according to the Internet Surname Database is from the French pre 10th Century name for a professional guide 'gui' or the personal name 'Guy' or the Old High German 'witu' or pre 7th Century English 'widu' meaning a wood. The origins are therefore unclear.

In Tudor England the name Wyon was was used as a forename. It appears as such in many old documents.

I haven't encountered any circumstances where the surname has altered from Wyon to a variant over time but there seems to be one case where the name Weyandt changed to Wyon after the family moved from Europe to the USA. In Lincolnshire the name Wyon has close links to Wyan but this is yet to be fully investigated.

There are many instances of misspellings in census records in particular but none of these spellings seem to have 'stuck'.

Historical occurrences of the name

Notables with the Wyon surname

Wyons holding the post of Chief Engraver of HM Seals of the British Empire

Thomas Wyon (senior) 1767-1830
Benjamin Wyon 1802 - 1858 (Photograph above left)
Joseph Shepherd Wyon 1836 - 1873
Alfred Benjamin Wyon 1837 - 1884
Allan Wyon 1843 - 1907

Wyons holding the post of Chief Engraver at HM Mint

Thomas Wyon (junior) 1792 - 1817
William Wyon 1795 - 1851
Leonard Charles Wyon 1826 - 1891

Edward William Wyon -€“ Sculptor 1811 - 1885

Frederick William Wyon -€“ Lawyer and historian 1833 - 1904

Olive Wyon -€“ Author and theologian 1881 - 1966

Allan Gairdner Wyon -€“ Sculptor and artist 1882 - 1962

Reginald Wyon -€“ Author, War Correspondent, recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun 1871 - 1921

Albert William Wyon KBE -€“ Price Waterhouse partner and donor of funds to the National Estate to purchase Ennerdale Valley 1869 - 1937

Reginald Wyon - Lieut. Colonel US Army, founder of Rex Wyon Inc - New York, founder member of the Circumnavigators Club 1907 - 1999

Edwin Wyon - survivor of Changi and the Burma Railroad 1920 - 1991

John B Wyon -€“ Leader in community based healthcare and population scientist 1918 - 2004

Name frequency

This is a rare surname with a low frequency globally. The UK Office of National Statistics showed the count in 2002 to be 17. A search of the England & Wales Census for 1881 shows 26 entries.

Distribution of the name

Research has revealed that small groups of Wyons have inhabited specific regions for long periods of time. One family group lived in Birmingham, England for hundreds of years. An unrelated group has been resident in Hazebrouck, France since at least 1780 and people with the surname still live there today.


My data includes a family tree with 129 members of the Wyon family all descended from George Wyon who was a silver chaser in London in the 1760s. Family legend believes George to be the son of Peter George Wyon of Cologne, Germany. So far this has not been substantiated by my research. A Peter George Wyon was baptised in Cologne in 1710 with parents George Wyon and Maria Hammerden. It is quite possible he came to London as goldsmith to King George II and is the same Peter George who married in 1741 in Westminster. The entry for his marriage in the parish register shows him to be a bachelor which would seem to preclude him being the father of my ancestor George who was 67 years old when he died in 1797 and therefore born around 1730.

In England there are two geographical regions which crop up most often in the pre-registration period (before 1837) which have no known relationship to my tree. These are Malpas in Cheshire and the villages of Sempringham and Bourne in Lincolnshire. I have not collated the available records in Cheshire. The Lincolnshire records suggest that the Wyon surname was a variant of the name Wyan which is more commonly found in that area and has survived to modern times.

In addition to these records I have a database which contains every person of the Wyon surname that I have come across during the course of my research. This totals 234 people in England, Germany, France, USA and Canada and stretches in time from 1489 to the present. This data has been collected from census records, birth, marriage and death registrations and parish registers, newspapers, monumental inscriptions, national archives, telephone listings, online family trees and social media sites.

This collection of data is for research purposes only and the privacy of living persons will be respected even where the information is available on the public record. Any sharing of information by others who have an interest in the Wyon, Wyan, Wyen or Wyun surnames would be most welcome.