Recorded in many spellings including Carlyon, Cerlyon, Carleen, Corleon, Corlyon, Curlyon, Carlyne and Carlian, this is an English surname from the county of Cornwall. It is locational from various places called Carlyon, Carleen and Carleon, all within Cornwall, and all of whom have much the same meaning of "The camp of the legions". This was presumably a reference to Roman legionaires who spent several centuries trying, without a lot of success, to keep the Cornish quiet and the Bretons at bay. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given to strangers as easy identification, after they had moved from their original homes to somewhere else. However this is not the case in Cornwall where people were generally called by the name of the place where they lived, and where like Wales and in parts of Scotland, additional nicknames were developed to distinguish individuals. The surname is well recorded in surviving church registers back to at least the time of Queen Elizabeth 1st (1558 - 1603), with examples such as Alice Carlyon, who married John Wise at Launceston, on September 1st 1566, and Amies Carlyene who married Thomas Vosse at Breage, on November 17th 1583.
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