Recorded as Annion, Anyon, Enion, Onians, Onion, Onyon, O'Nions, and possibly others this is an English surname. However its origins are confused. It may be French from the word 'oignon' denoting a seller or grower of onions, or from the Olde Welsh 'Enniaun' meaning 'The Anvil'. There have been claims that it is French Huguenot protestant, and indeed in some cases this is true, but this does not alter the origins which were several centuries earlier. It has also been claimed as an Irish surname under the spelling of O'Nions, but that is really taking things too far, although branches of the family, originally protestant settlers, were recorded in that country. That the surname has always been held in good standing is shown by the English grant of arms. This has the blazon of a red field, a chevron ermine, between three gold mill rinds, and the crest of a hand holding a spear. Examples of the early recordings include Robert Oygnoun in the rolls of the town of Hastings in Sussex in 1295, Robert Onnyon in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1524, Lewis Annion christened at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on August 20th 1553, and Raphe Anyon, a witness at the church of St Lawrence Jewry, London in 1554. Thomas Oynion and Thomas Onion were both recorded in Suffolk in 1686. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Onioun, which was dated 1279, in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as 'The hammer of the Scots,' 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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