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The English surname of Lynch derives from the Old English hlinc (meaning "hill") and denotes residence on a hillside (for example, the hillside village of Lynch on Exmoor in Somerset). The most notable English Lynch family were seated since ancient times at Grove House and Down Court in the village of Staple near Canterbury in Kent, one of whose number was Royal chaplain Rev. John Lynch (1697–1760) Dean of Canterbury Cathedral.
In Irish, its original forms included
Lynch may be a variant Anglicization of the Gaelic language surname Ó Labhradha. The Ó Labhradha were a chieftain clan of the ancient Ulaidh or Irish Uluti tribe. The Ó Labhradha last existed as a petty nation in the late 12th century A.D. in Gaelic Ireland’s Ulidia (kingdom).
There were at least three unrelated families of this name in Gaelic Ireland, located in what is now County Clare, Cork, Louth and south-east Ulster, which was then the Kingdom of Ulidia. All are unrelated.
The most famous Irish Lynch family were one of the Tribes of Galway, and of Anglo-Norman origin. The original Norman-French form of the surname, de Linch, indicated a now unknown place of origin, probably in Normandy. It is this wealthy landowning line that Patrick Lynch, who moved to Argentina, was from; one of his descendants was Che Guevara.
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Heraldry was introduced to Ireland by the Anglo-Normans. The earliest reference to a herald of arms for Ireland is 1382, when the herald of John Chandos was appointed Ireland King of Arms. In 1552 the Office of Ulster King of Arms was created by Edward VI. Thus Heraldry in Ireland has followed English practise and limited use of any given coat of arms to a single individual at a time.