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Family spelling variants includes Youngs, Yung, Younge, Yongue, Yonge, Yong

YOUNG Family History


This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century origin, and as such is one of the earliest known origins. The derivation is from the word 'geong', which developed into the Middle English 'yunge or yonge', and literally means 'The young one'. Curiously children of the same sex in a medieval family were often given the same name, and to differentiate them a byname would be created and given (usually) to the younger bearers of the name baptismal name! The word was also used as a nickname for one who was 'young in heart', or appeared young, as in the example below...


Young (Variants: Yong, Yonge, Yongue, Younge, Yung, Youngs) - Scottish, English and Northern Irish nickname from Middle English ‘yong’ (derived from Old English ‘geong’), used to distinguish the younger of two bearers with the same personal name (typically, father or very occasionally a brother). In Scotland, where Gaelic-spoken areas, this was widely used as an English equivalent of the Gaelic nickname ‘Og’ or similarly the surname Ogg.

Not only Romanised from the Chinese surname ‘Yang’ or ‘Jung’, it is also the Americanisation of a cognate equivalent, in other European languages such as ‘Jung’ and ‘Junk’ (German), ‘De Jong(h)’ and Jong (Dutch) and French surname ‘Lejeune’ or ‘LaJeunesse’. Often found in Middle English with the Anglo-Norman French definite article, for example Robert le Yunge.

In 1881, the ‘Young’ population was widespread at 63,114 across the UK, with a frequent 2,590 residing in Kent. Speldhurst, Kent recorded Young as the top surname with 84 occurrences. An earlier example was recorded in 1377 - Willelmus Younge of Sutton at Hone, Kent.

It was reported that the most common occupation for 'Young' in 1881 was a Farmer. Coal Miner and Labourer were also reported in the top 3 occupations, with Agricultural Labourer being less common.

The UK has one related place name - Young’s End. Other countries also have place names - Canada has 2 (Young and Youngstown), Australia has a town called Young, as does Uruguay. United States has 10 relative place names including 5 Youngsvilles. The name is common for geographic features and sometimes refers to the geologic age of the mountain or body of water so named.


1881, 1891 Census The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1881 Census in Kent

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

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    ophelia Bakelmun

    I believe my great grand father Clement D Young came to Sri Lanka (formely Ceylon) from Edinberg, Scotand as a Planter.  He started his family in Sri Lanka and I am the 3rd generation.  I would like to know whether anyone konws any information about 'Scotish Planters" went to Sri Lanka in somewhere 1800s?  I am coming to Edinberg in October and would like to see the place where my great grand father lived.
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    Thomas Yonge born ca 1653
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    Rachael Young

    So neat! My family thought that we migrated to America from England. But on ancestry the records say my 4th great grandfather came here from Ireland (Hugh Young in 1780’s) also dna test says we are 35% Irish!
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    Anthony Barrett

    (Part 1 of 3) The Young name has a long history in the British Isles, but now DNA and some recorded history says its origin is from the south-west region of the Emerald Island. The Young story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup O2] can trace their beginnings to what is now County Kerry from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Young surname origin is possibly a branch of what will become the Dáirine [R1b-L513] who are found in south Ireland around 300 CE.
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    Anthony Barrett

    (Part 2 of 3) According to research, the Dáirine will join with the Dál Riata of north-east Ireland and invade Scotland around 500 CE. 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 Young story begins in pre-history Ireland but many of his descendants will then move to Kintyre, Scotland where they and other R1b-L513 members will form the Dalriada. This line and many of his kin will then travel to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.
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    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 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/401207
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