Last name: Wren
This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is one of a large group of early English surnames created from nicknames, often from the names of birds and animals, after some supposed resemblance to their best-known characteristics, such as Lark, Nightingale, Jay, Hart, Lamb and so on. The nickname "Wren", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "wrenna" or "wraenna", in Middle English "wrenne", was probably used of a small, busy and quick-moving person. The modern surname has two forms, Wren and Wrenn, the latter being the most usual spelling until the end of the 17th Century. Church recordings include one Rychard Wren who married Agnis Dalton on September 12th 1561 at St. Mary Abchurch, London, and Thomas Wren was christened on December 30th 1578 at St. John's, Hackney. The most notable namebearer is probably Sir Christopher Wren (1632 - 1723), the brilliant English architect who designed St. Paul's Cathedral and over fifty other London churches after the Great Fire of 1666, as well as many secular buildings. A Coat of Arms granted to a Wren family of County Durham depicts, on a white shield, on a black chevron between three lion's heads erased purple as many wrens of the field, on a chief, red, three crosses crosslet, gold. The Crest is a lion's head erased silver collared and pierced through the neck with a broken spear, red headed gold, vulned proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Wrenne, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2015
Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree
. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA
im a descendant of the Wren family in Virginia. apparently our surname is found in many places in the united states history. so far i have encountered personally one other wren with the same spelling from texas who i assume to be related to lieutenant Nicholas wren
I have the Wren coat of arms and I am related to Sir Christopher Wren. He designed a castle that Walt Disney based Disney castle off of.
My mother was a Wrenn from County Kerry, Ireland. It appears some families kept the second "N."
We think we're from Castleisland, Kerry
Cordle village in castleisland (can't spell the village properly)
Christopher A. Wren
I was just wondering that same thing myself. I am currently doing a pretty in-depth genealogy and family heritage compilation for my Historical Archaeology minor. God bless my grandfather for doing so much research while he was here. I am now in the process of basically refining and expanding what he has done. Although it must be some small fraction at this point, I believe that he said we were originally Scotch-Irish.
Which set of Wren's are you related to? I am from the Mississippi Wren's and have have a son named Christopher also.
I wonder if there is an Irish connection to the name or a Scandinavian connection.