Derived from the Norman-French de Lench and Kentish hlinc (meaning 'Hill'), the Lynch family originate at Cranbrook, Kent (where they co-founded Cranbrook School, Kent in 1518) and - from Tudor times - were seated at The Groves in the village of Staple near Canterbury in Kent (the old house was demolished in 1843). Their Coat of Arms consist of Three Lynxes Rampant and most of the family are buried at the Lynch Chancel 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/Archdeacon of Canterbury Cathedral The Very Rev. Dr. John Lynch (who married the daughter of the Archbishop of Canterbury The Right Hon. William Wake), The Reverend. George Lynch MA (Cantab) of Lympne in Kent, diplomat & MP for Canterbury The Right Hon. Sir William Lynch of Staple. Later members of this family were Army officers, civil servants and City bankers who settled at Hythe, Kent.
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.