Last name: Penny

This interesting surname was originally a byname for a person of wealth. A penny in Anglo-Saxon and later England, when coins were few, had great purchasing power, and could well be applied to people of substance. The word penny derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "peni(n)g", penny, and is cognate with the Old High German "pfenning" and the Old Norse "penningr". As a surname Penny had clearly emerged by the beginning of the 13th Century (see below), and further early recordings include, Gileburtus Penning, mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, dated 1204, and in the records of the Shropshire Assize Court Rolls of 1221, a William Peny comes to notice. Variant spellings of the surname include Penney, Pennie and Pennings. An early registration in London Church Registers was for the marriage of Anthony Penny and Arabella Turnor on April 20th 1625, at St. Giles' Cripplegate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Penig, which was dated 1191, in the "Pipe Rolls of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

Surname Scroll

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Anne Wentzel

I am looking for someone who knew about my ancestor Annie Beatrice Penney from England. I can be contacted at

Becky Hamshar
My maiden name is Penny. I would love to see if my family history matches up with someone elses of Penny origin.

Raymond Penny at
My family (Penny) as far as I can trace them back, came to Castle Cove, Newfoundland near Keels after 1800. My great- great grandfather John, married Catherine Hobbs of Keels at the Methodist Church in Bonavista, NL on Oct 30, 1839. We know all of the offspring of John and Catherine, but not all of their grandchildren. We suspect but don't know for sure that his father may have been George or one of his three brothers who also settled at Castle Cove as English emigrants after 1800. There were also cousins who settled at Keels around the same time. We have some names and partial families from the 1820's and 1830's but not enough to establish the pre 1839 generations. Poole, Eng. was the probable exit port. Three children and one grandchild of John and Catherine moved to Eastport, BB in the 1870's. They were William, George, and Benjamin. Sometime later Joseph Yetman, son of sister Betsy moved there with William after Betsy died.

Chloe Penney
Hello, I am really looking into my family history of the 'Penny's' my Surname was changed by my Granddad John Penney, he put the E in Penney, could someone give me more information. I do believe we come from a family of military descent

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