Dr. Floyd: I’ve been meaning to post a message commending you on your excellent analysis on the origin of the name Floyd. It’s the best I have seen and at last deviates from the Lloyd broken record. I have a chapter on the subject in my family genealogy, and here is what I say in part:
Although many Floyds appear to be of Welsh descent, another theory is that the name Floyd evolved from the name Flood in Ireland. One can imagine an Irishman, for example, pronouncing the word flood. It might sound like “flow-id.” If that were slurred, it conceivably could evolve into the pronunciation of the name Floyd as we know it today.
A book titled “Irish Pedigrees, Vol. I” says that the name Flood is of Irish descent and is an anglicized version of the Gaelic word tuile, meaning flood. One surname predating the name Flood, the book says, was O’Loimthuile, meaning the descendants of the man who was ruined by a flood. The name O’Loimthuile has been anglicized as Lumley and Flood. Another related name, the book says, was Maoltuile, and from that name came MacThelligh (MacTully or Tully). Today, Maoltuile appears as a Gaelic first name.
“The Surnames of Ireland” by Edward MacLysaght (1980) says that some Floods are of English extraction, but in Ireland they are mainly O Maoltuile or Mac Maoltuile, abbreviated to Mac an Tuile and Mac Tuile, anglicized MacAtilla or MacTully as well as Flood. However, MacLysaght seems to contradict himself by saying that the word tuile was intended to be toile, meaning will, as in the will of God. In parts of Ulster (one of four Irish provinces), MacLysaght notes, the name Flood is used for the Welsh Floyd, and the Welsh Floyd came from the Welsh Lloyd or Llwyd. MacLysaght then makes a statement that is of paramount importance to Floyd researchers: “Floyd, normally (is) a variant of Lloyd but sometimes (is) synonymous with Flood. It is mainly found in Munster (one of four Irish provinces).”
“Irish Families Great and Small” by Michael C. O’Laughlin shows the names Flood and Floyd to be Irish. It also lists Mac Tully, O Tully and Tuhill.
In any event, it is possible that various Floyd lines came to America from a number of countries, including Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland, but there seems to be two main Floyd families, one originating in Wales as Lloyd, the gray one, and the other originating in Ireland as Tuile or Flood. In some Welsh Lloyd families, the name never evolved into Floyd. Likewise, in some Irish Flood families, the name never evolved into Floyd, and there are many Flood cousins throughout the United States.
Final note: I also wonder if the name O’Toole could come from Tuile.