This interesting and unusual surname is of French origin, and is a topographical name for a dweller by the cone-shaped lake or pond. The derivation of the name is from the French "cone", cone, cone-shaped, and "eau", water. Topographical names were some of the earliest names to be created, as topographical features, whether natural or man-made, provided obvious and convenient means of identification. The surname is first recorded in England in the early 17th Century, and was later re-introduced by the French Huguenots. During the mid to late 17th Century thousands of French Huguenots fled to England and other countries, to escape religious persecution on the Continent, especially after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louix X1V in 1685. On September 12th 1708, Pierre, son of Pierre and Magdeleine Conneau, was christened at La Patente French Huguenot Church, Spitalfields, London. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Conneau, Cunnow, Conew, Connow, Connue, Coneau and Connew. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Mary, daughter of Jacob and Elisabeth Conew, on December 19th 1715, at St. James' Clerkenwell, and the marriage of John Connew and Mary Watson at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on September 8th 1753. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Daniell Connew, which was dated July 11th 1625, witness at the christening of his son, John, at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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