The Background of the name LLOYD

Surnames started to be adopted in England between the 10th and 15th centuries. At this time the Patronymic system (Map=mab, ab=ap, son of) was still in use in Wales, although there is a Richard Lloyd recorded at Worcester in 1327. Surnames tended to follow, a) the fathers name, b) nickname or distinguishing feature, c) place of origin or d) trade or occupation. Most Welsh surnames seem to originate from the first three categories, of which there were perhaps only about a dozen or so by the 15th century. This small number perhaps reflects that in 15th century Wales adopting a surname needed wealth, power and a certain amount of Anglicisation.

The surname Lloyd comes from the Welsh ‘Llwyd’, which has been interpreted as meaning, ‘hoary’, ‘brown haired’, ‘grey haired’ and later in the medieval period as ‘holy’. Found mainly in Wales it has a wide distribution in the UK, and has moved around the world with various corruption’s. Possibly the Anglo-Norman scribe was responsible for most corruption’s, as they would not be familiar with the medieval Welsh ll and generally used l. The diphthong wy was not within the scribes own system and the nearest was oi, oy. Therefore the versions one finds the most are Loid, Loyd and sometimes Loyt. In Tudor times the corruption’s move into versions such as Floyd, Floyde, Fludd, Lloyed, Llud and Lloied. In more recent times Lloyd has long been the usual version of the surname in Wales, with the Ll pronounced as single l.

There have been a  few famous people throughout history with the name Lloyd. The earliest is perhaps John Lloyd (also known as Floyde, b. abt. 1475), who wrote in 1511, the funeral music for Prince Henry, the infant son of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. In 1688, Edward Lloyd founded a coffee shop in the heart of the ship broking and marine insurance businesses area of London. This was the predecessor of Lloyd's of London and became the centre of the international insurance market and source of shipping intelligence. Who can forget Harold Lloyd, star of many films in which he carried out some extremely dangerous stunts. There was of course David Lloyd George (being a big influence on him, he added his uncle, Richard Lloyd's surname to his), British politician and passionate social reformer, who became British Prime Minister.