This unusual surname is of medieval Cornish origin, and derives from the ancient Brittonic personal name recorded as "Urbgen" in Old Welsh, and as "Urbien" and "Urien" in Old Breton. The name is believed to mean "of privileged birth", the second element representing the root "gen", birth, born, but some sources trace it to "Urbi-genus", city-born. Urien Rhegad ap Cynfarch, leader of the Britons in the 6th Century in Northern England and south Scotland, who fought against Hussa and his son, Ida, is commemorated in the songs of Taliesin, a 6th Century Welsh bard.One Iwan ab Huren and a David ap Uryen were entered respectively in the Subsidy Rolls of Wales dated 1292 and 1322. The surname, with variant spellings Urian, Urion, Urin(e), and Uryn, is particularly well recorded in Church Registers of Gloucestershire and Cornwall from the mid 16th Century. On June 4th 1578, Jane Uren and William Kevern were married at St. Martin in Meneage, Cornwall, and on September 18th 1603, one James Uren was married in Paul. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Uryn, which was dated May 7th 1558, witness at the christening of his son, Jerome, at Preston-on-Stour, Gloucestershire, during the reign of Queen Mary, known as "Bloody Mary", 1553 - 1558. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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