Baldwin Surname History

The History of the Surname

The following was taken from: "The Baldwin Genealogy," written by Charles Baldwin. Parenthetical phrases are my own.

"Most of the Baldwins of America are descended from those in Buckinghamshire, near Hertfordshire, and of Oxfordshire, which shires join Bucks. The name occurred before the conquest in the immediate vicinity of the Baldwin of Bucks." (This describes an area north and west of London, England.) "From the year 1200 down, the name is pretty continuously found in the vicinity of Aylesbury, Bucks."

(notes: (1) define "shire," (2) what "conquest?" (3) research "Aylesbury")

From the Directory of Ancestral Heads of New England Families; 1620 to 1700:

"The name (is) from the old German or Scandinavian, (meaning) the "conqueror", or "victor"; from "bald", meaning "quick or speedy", and "win" signifying "victor or conqueror", as in "all win", (always) victorious." (okay, I like this).

"The name appears as early as 672 in records. (It is) One of the first names to appear in records. (Indeed, "Baldwin" is) One of the first names to appear in history.... Baldwin, son of Gan, (was) a young French Knight, killed at the battle of Roncenvalles, 778. Baldwin of the Iron Arm was founder of Burges in 837. His descendants ruled the Dukedom of Flanders. Matilda, daughter of the Duke of Flanders, married William the Conqueror. The name appears in the roll of Battle Abbey. After the conquest, they became earls of Devonshire. The family is traced through earls of Flanders to Godfrey De Buillon, leader of the only successful crusade against Jerusalem."

"The Baldwin Genealogy," written by Charles Baldwin

" Although occasionally one of the name elevated himself to a position sufficiently prominent to leave a trace of his existence in the public records, it may be safely assumed that the great majority of the race were of a social rank below that of the country gentry. No better proof of this can be required than the single fact that among the inquisitions post mortem, from their institutions in the year 1340 down to 1600 only two relate to the Baldwins of Bucks: Richard Baldwin (who died Sept 21, 1485) named his brother John as heir. Richard held in socage of the king the manor of Otterarsfee in Aylesbury, probably a manor so small that it has long since been absorbed by some larger one, as no further trace of it can be discovered."

(The above came from notes I made in the early 1970's from research done at Newberry Library in Chicago. I am not completely certain that the above quote came from the hand of Charles Baldwin; my notes say simply "From the Baldwin Genealogy." There is an obvious contrast between the high minded first two paragraphs suggesting a relationship with William the Conqueror and the above lines that freeze the family name in the strata of peons. The truth is of course that the Baldwin's were like anyone else, being born to a place and time, growing up, getting married, working, enjoying what they could, having kids, and then dying. It's mankinds common destiny.)

Symbols: Crests, Flags, Tartans, Etc.

(I found the crest and coat of arms once on the net but haven't been able to relocate them; let me know if you do)

Baldwin Coat of Arms