Recorded in various spellings including Linch, Lynch, Lynche, which can be of either English or Irish origin, or Linskey and Lynskey which are both Irish and mainly from County Mayo, and the West of Ireland. The English name originates in the pre Anglo-Saxon era, and is a topographical surname denoting residence on a slope or a hillside. Derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century word 'hlinc', meaning hill, it may also be locational surname from the villages called 'Lynch' in Somerset or 'Linch' in Sussex, both of which have exactly the same Olde English origination, and are (literally) built on hills.As an Irish surname, 'Lynch' is far more confusing, nethertheless it is one of the most important clans, being particulary associated with County Galway. In general the surname is said to derive from a Anglicized form of the Gaelic O' Loingsigh, which translates as 'The descendant of the mariner', an unusual description in itself as the ancient Irish were rarely sailors, or as another Anglicized form, this time of the Gaelic 'Linseach', itself confusingly Gaelicized from the Anglo-Norman 'de Lench', which entered the country in the 12th century with the army of Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke. In effect this takes us back to the begining again and the Olde English 'hlinc', of which 'de Lench' was another spelling. Thomas Lynch (1749 - 1779), whose Irish family emigrated to America, was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence, whilst Jack Lynch was Premier of Ireland in 1970. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Linch, which was dated 1228, in the "Fine Court Records of Suffolk", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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