Select Young Surname Genealogy

Young from the Middle English yunge generally described the younger of two bearers of the same name, either a younger brother or a son.   The early surname spelling in England was Yonge.  A Scottish variant has been Younger.

Select Young Resources on The Internet

England.   The Yonges of Bristol date from 1385 and possibly earlier.  Sir John Yonge was courtier to Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth.  The Yonge family of Colyton in Devon is believed to have been related to this family.  Their numbers later included
  • Walter Yonge, the Devon merchant whose diaries over the period 1604 to 1645 are now with the British Museum.
  • and Sir George Yonge, who was British Secretary at War from 1782 to 1794.
James Yonge was a 17th century naval surgeon from Devon who became Mayor of Plymouth.  The naval Young family of Plymouth was related, including Admiral William Young who saw service during the Napoleonic wars.

Meanwhile the Yonges from Bryn Iorcyn near Wrexham in north Wales dated from the 15th century.  Sir Richard Yonge was a courtier to James I who got lucky:

“After dinner while riding on horseback, the King’s horse stumbled and cast His Majesty into the New river where the ice broke and he fell in, so that nothing but his boots was seen.  Sir Richard Yonge following alighted and went into the water and lifted him out.  There came out much water of his mouth and body.”

Sir Richard Yonge was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter and later a baronet.  Ellis Yonge of this family was a substantial 18th century landowner in north Wales, but left no male heirs.

Yonge has persisted as a surname in England, but was generally superseded during the 16th and 17th centuries by Young.  By the 1891 census, the Young name was mainly to be found, not in the southwest of the country as the Yonge name might suggest, but in the north (one third of the Youngs) and in the southeast (another one third).  London and Durham had the largest concentrations.

Scotland.  The Young name first surfaced in Scotland in the 14th century and has been mainly found in the Lowlands and around Perthshire.

The Youngs were one of the Scottish border clans, not one of the larger ones, but a clan that could possibly muster 200-400 men at arms.  They were to be found in the Bowmont valley and at Otterburn.  After the Border pacification in the early 1600’s, many of these Youngs dispersed.

Sir John Young accompanied Mary Queen of Scots as her chamberlain on her return from France to Scotland in 1561.  He received from her the grant of Leny manor in the Trossachs.  His grandson William, however, was a Jacobite supporter in 1715 and had to abandon these estates and flee Scotland for the Caribbean.

Sir Peter Young, born in Dundee in 1544, was appointed the tutor to Mary’s son James, later to become the Scottish and English king.  Son Patrick followed him to England in the King’s service, son John became Dean of Winchester.  Another line via his son Peter led to the Youngs of Auldbar in Angus.

.  The Rev. John Young of the Auldbar family in Scotland came to Ulster in 1615 and was granted lands at Strabane in Tyrone and Coolkeiragh in Derry.  The Youngs of Bailieborough castle in county Cavan (the Barons Lisgar) were descended from him.  Youngs continued in Strabane.

A Young family owned the Braid Water spinning mill in Ballymena, county Antrim in the 19th century and were the town’s largest employer.  The family also owned Galgorm castle and an estate of 2,000 acres.

.  Dr. William Young fled Scotland for Antigua in 1715 where he started a sugar plantation.  His family prospered there and his son William, made a baronet, was the first colonial Governor of Dominica in 1770.  Two later baronets of this family died in the Crimean War.

John Youngs from Norfolk (of Welsh Yonge roots) came with his family to Salem, Massachusetts in 1637.  They later crossed the Long Island Sound in 1640 and founded Southold, the first permanent English settlement in New York.  John’s brother Joseph followed him there in 1649.  Young descendants were still at Southold in 1900.  A branch under Elijah Young had moved to Ohio in the 1850’s.

The lineage of Brigham Young, who succeeded Joseph Smith as leader of the Mormon church, started with John Young the New England immigrant in 1629.  His descendants moved to Hopkinton in Middlesex county, which was where Brigham’s father John Hayden Young was born in 1763.  Brigham was his ninth child. Brigham himself was to marry 26 times, from whence came 62 children

Henry Young from Scotland was shipwrecked off Cape Cod in the 1760’s.  He became the first schoolmaster on Martha’s Vineyard.

There are more Youngs in America than in the UK, with names such as the Dutch Jong and the German Jung and Junk having been Americanized to Young.

  John Young, a British seaman from Lancashire, was left in Hawaii when his American captain departed with their ship in 1790.  He became an important advisor to the King during the early contacts with Europeans.  He lived the rest of his life in Hawaii, dying there in 1835 at the age of 93 and leaving a large family.

Select Young Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Young Names

Arthur Young was a writer on rural affairs in England during the 18th century.
James Young
was a 19th century Scottish chemist whose method of extracting paraffin from coal earned himself the nickname of "Paraffin" Young.
Brigham Young led the Mormons to Salt Lake City.
Cy Young was an early baseball pitcher after whom the Cy Young award in baseball is named.
Loretta Young was a well-known American actress.
Andrew Young was one of the leading civil right activists in the 1960's.
Neil Young is a distinctive guitarist and singer-songwriter from Canada.

Select Youngs Today

  • 132,000 in the UK (most numerous in Essex)
  • 176,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 107,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

Select Surname List

Adams Ellis Johnson O'Connor
Allen Evans Jones O'Sullivan Shaw
Anderson Fisher
Kelly Parker Simpson
Bailey Foster Kennedy Perry Smith
Baker Fox King Peterson Stevens
Barnes Fraser 
Lee Phillips Stewart
Bell Graham Lewis Powell Taylor
Bennett Gray Marshall Price Thomas
Brown Green Martin Reed
Griffiths Mason      
Reynolds Turner
Campbell Hall McDonald Richards
Carter Hamilton Miller  Richardson Walsh
Chapman Harris Mitchell Roberts Ward
Clark Harrison
Moore Robertson Watson
Collins Henderson Morgan Robinson White
Cook Hill Morris Rogers Williams
Cooper Howard Murphy Ross Wilson
Cox Hughes Murray Russell Wood
Davis Jackson Nelson Ryan Wright
Edwards James O'Brien 

For other surnames check the surnames2 page where there are to be found the history and genealogy for more than 800 surnames.

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