The Welsh surname Llewelyn is derived from the personal name Llywelyn (anciently Lugobelinos), probably derived from the element llyw ‘leader’, although the exact formation is unclear. This was the name of two princes of North Wales who held the Normans at bay for many years in the 13th century. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Tudor ap Lleyelyn, which was dated 1391, in the "Extent of Chirkland", 1391 – 1393. A notable bearer of the name was the 19th Century Welsh botanist John Dillwyn Llewelyn.
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