There is considerable conjecture over the origin of this apparently simple name. The earliest recorded spelling suggests that it is a medieval locational name from a place called "The Hill on the Fen" from the early English "Fenn-Hlaw". This is quite possible except that no such place has been identified. There is a second suggestion which is that it is an anglicized form of the Flemish-Huguenot "Fenelon" and this is also possible as "Fenlon" was first recorded in Ireland in circa 1680, but does not appear in England in that spelling until 1809. The variant as Fennelow is first recorded in 1723, George Fennelow being a witness at St. Botolphs, Aldgate, London on August 4th 1723. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Fenlow, which was dated 1646, married Anne Hind at St. Bartholomew, The Less, London, during the reign of King Charles I "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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