Recorded as Coniar, Conier, Conyer, Conyers and the later dialectal Conyard, this is an English surname, but of medieval French origins. Introduced at or after the Invasion of England in 1066, it is an occupational name for somebody who was highly trusted and a minter of money, otherwise known as a coiner. The origination is the pre 7th century Old French word "coignier", meaning "to stamp", and is ultimately derived from the Roman word "cuneus", meaning a wedge, and used to describe the dies required to accurately stamp money. The skill required to produce an acceptable coin was very high. The blank of gold, silver or copper, was placed in a double die, and then 'hammered'. It may be that in some instances the name was also a nickname surname for someone who was thrifty and careful with money. The surname development over the centuries in the city of London has included: Henry Conyer in the Subsidy Tax rolls of 1384, and Jane Coniar in at St Bolotophs Bishopgate, in 1564. John Conyard was christened at the church of St. Mary Whitechapel, in Stepney, on January 17th 1663, and Elizabeth, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Conyers was christened at St. Sepulchre church, on January 26th 1768. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Conyare. This was dated 1327, in the Sussex Subsidy Tax rolls, during the reign of King Edward 11nd of England, 1307 - 1327. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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