This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-French origin, and was either a nickname given to someone who resembled a rabbit in some way, or a metonymic occupational name for a dealer in rabbits, from the Anglo-French "coning", Middle English "cony", a rabbit. Other surnames from this source include Coney, Cony, Conie and Conning. The original surname was introduced into England by the Normans in the aftermath of the Conquest of 1066. One Nicholas filius Coning appears in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, while one Ralph Konyng is recorded in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls of 1296. Other early examples dating from circa 1200 - 1400 include: Michael Conning, in the "Remains of Dean Granville"; Peter Conyng, who appears in the Issue Rolls; and Nicholas Conyng, mentioned in the Rolls of Parliament. London Church Registers record the christenings of Abraham, son of William Conning, on April 15th 1576, at St. Bartholomew Exchange, and of William, son of William and Mary Coning, on September 27th 1668, at St. Sepulchure. The family Coat of Arms depicts on a silver shield crusily fitchee, red, three red garbs. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Conying, which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.
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