The English surname of Lynch derives from the Norman de Lench family who came to England with King William the Conqueror and settled at Cranbrook in Kent as members of the Landed Gentry. The Lynch family were seated at Grove House in the village of Staple near Canterbury in Kent (now demolished), their family Arms consist of Three Lynxes Rampant and most of the family were buried in Staple parish church. Notable members of this family include: MP for Sandwich (1553-4) The Right Hon. Simon Lynch of Staple, Governor of British Jamaica Sir Thomas Lynch, High Sheriff of Kent (1714) Colonel John Lynch of Staple (whose maternal grandfather was Lord Bishop of London The Right Rev. John Aylmer), Royal chaplain & Dean of Canterbury Cathedral The Very Rev. Dr. John Lynch (who married the daughter of the Archbishop of Canterbury The Right Hon. William Wake), diplomat & MP for Canterbury The Right Hon. Sir William Lynch of Staple.
An alternative version has the first mention of the origins of Lynch - English and Irish - as Leonisius de Bromiard, one of the knights of Walter de Lacy. The name Leonisius de Bromiard (or Bromyard on the English/Welsh border) first appears in early 12th century Irish church records, and Leonisius's descendants were the Fitz Leons, later the Lynches of Galway.
There are several different unrelated Irish families of which Lynch is the Anglicized form of including:
- Ó Loingsigh, meaning "descendant of Loingseach" (mariner), which was also Anglicized as Lynchy, Lynskey and Lindsey. Their chiefs were lords of the kingdom of Dál Riata in north-eastern Ulster during the 11th century.
- Mac Loingsigh – Clynch, Lynch, Mac Glinchy, MacClintock, McClinton
- Mac Loingseacháin – Lynchseanaun, Lynch
- de Lench, an Anglo-Norman name, which became ones of the Tribes of Galway. It is this wealthy landowning line that Patrick Lynch, who moved to Argentina, was from; one of his descendants was Che Guevara.
- Blazon: Azure a chevron between three trefoils slipt or.
- Crest: A lynx passant azure collared or.
- Motto: Semper Fidelis which is a Latin phrase meaning "always faithful".
- Lynch:HIstory, Myth and Legend
- Bell, Robert (2003). The Book of Ulster Surnames. The Blackstaff Press. ISBN 9-780856-406027.
- Woulfe, Rev. Patrick (1923). "Ó Loingsigh". Irish Names and Surnames. Retrieved September 2015. Check date values in:
- Burke, Bernard (1884). "The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales". London: Harrison. p. 632.