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Family spelling variants includes Evens, Evins, Heavens, Ivins, Ivens, Ivans, Heaven, Haven, Havins, Heavin

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EVANS Family History


This surname, of medieval Welsh origin, is a patronymic form of the Welsh male given name Ifan or Evan, the roots of which lie in the Latin forms of John – 'Iohannes' (Johannes) and the colloquial 'Iovannes'. The forename John enjoyed enormous popularity in Europe throughout the Christian era, when parents named their infant sons in honour of St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist, or the nearly one thousand other saints of the name. The ultimate derivation of the name comes from the Hebrew name 'Yochanan', meaning 'Jehovah has favoured (me with a son)' or 'may Jehovah favour this child'.


The medieval form of this Welsh name was Ieuan, and the Evans version started to emerge in the 16th century. In addition to Evan, Efan and Ifan, the variants of this surname include Evens, Evins, Heavens, Ivins, Ifans, Ivens, Ivans, Heaven, Haven, Havins, Heavin.

In Wales, where traditionally there were no fixed surnames, Evan/Ifan was originally a patronymic name, and originally it would have referred back to an individual's father – for example, 'William ap Evan' (or 'William ap Ifan') was literally 'William the son of Evan/Ifan'. Between the 16th and 19th centuries however Welsh families started to adopt hereditary surnames, and the 'Evan' or 'Ifan' form eventually became fixed as Evans as it was passed down the generations.

It quickly grew to become one of the most common of Welsh surnames and is found in all parts of the country. Today, over 74,000 Welsh people have Evans as a surname and it is the 4th most common surname in Wales.

Back in 1881, just over the border in England, the census revealed that Evans was one of the most common surnames in the city of Bristol. The majority of Evans men that year worked as farmers, coal miners and labourers, while some worked as agricultural labourers.

By 1891, the Evans population in the whole of England and Wales numbered 137,842. In Scotland the count was 586.

The Welsh archaeologist, Sir Arthur Evans (1851—1941), was famous for his excavations at Knossos on Crete, where he uncovered the remains of the Minoan civilisation. His work provided the vital missing link between Ancient Egypt and the rise of Ancient Greece.

In the UK, there are towns called Evanton and Evans Mead, while in North America there are 13 towns that have adopted the Evans nomenclature, including Evansburg and Evansville. Six of those towns are located in the United States. Bermuda and New Zealand have Evans Bays, while in Australia, Evandale, a town located in Tasmania, was named after a 19th century surveyor and explorer, George William Evans.


1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Bristol

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain

Wales Online



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Charles R. Evans

I am very interested I. The very early, tribal origins of the Evans name. Also, after reading your text above, I am quite interested in the connections to the connections to the possible connections to King Arthur and that time period. Also curious about the earliest Evans migration to the Americas.


My grandfather, Evan Bradford Evans was born in Youngstown Ohio and his parents came from Wales. They had nine children and my grandfather was the youngest. He moved to Syracuse New York where he married and had five children of his own. One of which was my father, John Standen Evans. Also had a brother named Bowen Evans, Sally Evans, Ally Evans, Libby Evans. My grandfather's first wife name was Phyllis, she died of cancer and he remarried a lady named Gladys.


John Standen Evans 01/08/1925 Born in Syracuse, Ny, USA


Greetings from New Zealand! My 5x great grandmother is Catherine Evans born about 1778, convicted and sentenced in Dublin, then transported to NSW Australia on the "Royal Admiral' in 1792. Please help me find her family in Dublin :)


I would like to verify the birthplace of my 3rd ggfather, Alexander R. Evans/Evins, born 29 May 1761 in possibly Seagahan, Armagh, Ulster, or his father, Alexander Evans born about 1720, died about 1770 in Fincastle, Virginia. The name Evans is of Welsh origin, and the family probably emigrated to Ireland from there and then on to the United States. I would like to be able to trace the family back further with any information you can give me.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 1 of 3) The Evans name has a long history in British Isles, but now DNA and some recorded history says their origin is from the Emerald Island. The Evans story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup B2] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Evans surname origin is from Clan Domnaill [DNA Tribe R1b-L513, Subgroup B1] and relations who remain in Ireland take the modern surname (O’)Donnelly, McDonald and Donohue in Ireland.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 2 of 3) According to research, the Domnaill name is also found in Brittany, France. It is a very old name which appears in the 5th century Roman inscriptions as Dumnovellaunos in Brittany meaning “Deep Valour” equivalent to Irish Domhnaill. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Evans story begins in pre-history Ireland then moves to Wales where the family can be traced back to their Welsh tribe Cydifor Fawr. An ancestor and many of his kin will then move to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit


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