Recorded as Glenn, Glinn, Glyn, Glynn, and Glany, Glenie, Glennie and Glenny, this can only be described as a surname of the British Isles. It has several possible national origins. Firstly it may be Cornish or Welsh from any of the places called Glyn or Glynn, such as Glyn Dyffryn, near Corwen, in Merioneth; or Glynn on the river Fowey, in East Cornwall. These placenames derive from the pre 6th century word glin or glyn, meaning a valley. Secondly it can be Scottish, and again locational either from Glen, a place near Peebles, or from the lands known as 'Glennie's Parks' near Braemar, in Aberdeenshire, with Angus Gleny being the first of the name and recorded in the year 1408. Again the ancient word 'glen' is a form of the even earlier 'glyn' meaning a valley. Thirdly it may be quite different and Irish. If so it is from the pre 10th century Gaelic "Mag Fhloinn", meaning the son of the ruddy faced one from flann meaning red or euddy. As such it was perhaps an ethnic reference to an Anglo-Saxon, somebody with red hair. This clan originated in the Westmeath- Roscommon area. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere is believed to be that of Colban del Glen. He received a legacy left him by the Queen of Scotland in 1328, during the reign of King Robert 1st of Scotland, otherwise known as The Bruce, 1306 - 1329. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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