Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WILLIAM LYON 1540-1624

[Ancestral Link: Lura Minnie Parker (Stagge), daughter of Minnie May Elmer (Parker), daughter of Mark Alfred Elmer, son of Hannah Polina Child (Elmer), daughter of Alfred Bosworth Child, son of Mark Anthony Child, son of Increase Child, son of Mary Lyon (Child), daughter of Joseph Lyon, son of Joseph Lyon, son of William Lyon, son of William Lyon, son of William Lyon.]

William Lyon
Born: About 1540 - Little Stanmore, Middlesex, England
Died: September 7, 1624 - Little Stanmore, Middlesex, England
Buried: September 17, 1624 - Middlesex, England
Revised January 23, 2011

William Lyon was born in about 1540 in Little Stanmore, Middlesex, England (Little Stanmore is today part of greater London). By some accounts, William was the oldest child of John Lyon, the 7th Lord of Glamis (1509-1592) and Lady Janet Keith (1515-1559). By other accounts (most notably the "Lyon Memorial", published in 1905) he was the oldest child of John Lyon (a different John Lyon than the 7th Lord of Glamis) and his wife, Joan (surname unknown). If the former is true, the "Lyon" line of William Lyon's ancestors can be traced back to the 11th century. If the latter is true, William Lyon's more distant direct "Lyon" ancestors become uncertain. However, the very fact that William carried the "Lyon" surname and came from that region of England where much of the extended Lyon family resided, strongly indicates that William descended from a common "Lyon" ancestor. A third possibility, of course, is that William was the bastard son of John Lyon, the 7th Lord of Glamis, with the "other" John Lyon an invention of convenience.

The most ancient Lyon ancestor generally known was Ingelram de Leouns, born about 1020 in the Normandy area of France. Ingelram de Leouns may (there is no conclusive proof) have accompanied William the Conqueror in the successful invasion of England in 1066, and by virtue of his service was awarded land that established the Lyon family as Lords in feudal England. Ingelram's son, Sir Roger de Leonne, born about 1040, unlike his father, is known to have existed and some facts of his life are not in dispute. It is probable that William Lyon was a descendent of these early "Lyons", but the direct line from Sir Roger de Leonne to William Lyon is uncertain.

Little is known about William Lyon. Sometime before 1578, William Lyon, then about age 39, married Isabelle Wightman. Isabelle Wightman was born in 1559 (therefore about 19 years younger than William) in Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, England. She was the daughter of William Wightman (1526-1578) and Audrey Deering (1530-1596) of Coventry, Middlesex, England. William Wightman, in turn, was the son of Richard Wightman (1500-1530) and Elizabeth Purcell (1500-1530) of Harrow, England. All these earlier birth and death years are considered approximations.

Between 1578 and 1590, William and Isabelle had five children; John (1578), William (1580), Isabelle (1582), Audrey (1584) and Robert (or Richard) (1590).

On September 7, 1624, in Little Stanmore, William Lyon, age 84, died. He was buried on September 17th. Although not known, it is assumed he was buried in Little Stanmore. It is not known when Isabelle Wightman Lyon died.
found on ancestry.com


  1. William Lyon 1540-1624

    I have recently read your blog with interest, especially because I recently published a book on the Lyon family from 1066 to the present day. See www.thelyonfamily.org.uk for details. It is named A Most Remarkable Family by Michael Hewitt and available from the website.
    The book actually gives you the answers to your query – the biggest problem is that the names John and William Lyon cause confusion to the present day. If you want to download the book from Amazon as an E-book it is available.
    To summarise – William Lyon (1555-1624) was born to John Lyon (1521-1592) the 7th Earl – his mother was Lady Janet (sometimes Joan) Keith (1528-1559). The 7th Earl had son John (1544) who became the 8th Earl, another son named Thomas (1549) who became the Master of Glamis and the Treasurer for Scotland under King James VI. His younger brother William (1555) married Isabel Wightman (1559).
    This William (1555) had two sons; William (1580-1634) who married Anne Carter (1594-1634) the mother of William Lyon (1625) the orphan who migrated to America in 1635.
    William’s (1555) other son was Richard Lyon (1590-1678) who was the father of three migrants to America in 1649; Thomas, Henry and Richard Jr. There is much dispute about these last three as Lyon Memorial claims they were born in Loch Lyon in Scotland - difficult for two reasons – no-one lived there (this is a myth) and they were born in Heston, Middlesex like their father and cousin William.
    There is no reason to accept the other theories (a) that William (1555) was just a common Lyon because he “lived in a region of England where much of the extended family resided.” Much of the family had moved to England after John Lyon (1521) left Scotland after the burning at the stake of his wife Lady Janet Keith in 1559. His older brother stayed in Scotland but William decided to move to Ryslippe, Middlesex where his branch of the family lived after this.
    It is not worth commenting on the bastard argument - except to state that there is no evidence for that. An interesting aside is that William (1580) did have a son (Thomas (1600)) by another wife or woman other than Anne Carter as she was only 6 years of age at the time. Bastard were not unknown, even among the Lyon family and the rulers of England and Scotland.

    Michael Hewitt 26/7/2015

  2. Thank you for this information. Does anyone know what became of William (the son of John Lyon VII Lord Glamis? I read Hewitt book with great interest but still was unsure. Thanks!