Recorded in various spellings of which the most popular are Adney and Edney, this is an English locational surname from the 16th century. It originates from the village of Adney, near Newport in the county of Shropshire, a place first recorded in the rolls known as 'The fees' in the year 1212, during the reign of the infamous King John. The name means 'Edmunds island' or similar from an Olde English personal name plus 'ey'- an island. The surname development in the area suggests that this region was one greatly effected by the Enclosure Acts. Under these acts the ancient commons were enclosed, the villagers lost their grazing rights, and hence had no option in most cases but to move elsewhere. The surname is first recorded in church registers in London, see below. This is not unusual church registers were not established in Shropshire before the year 1570. Examples of the name recordings include William Edney, a witness at St John the Apostle, London, on October 5th 1563, whilst Jane Adeney was christened at Childs Ercal, Shropshire, on August 10th 1582. Isabella Edeney was christened at the same church in 1595, Henry Edney at St Peters Holborn, London, in 1614, and John Adney at St Johns Hackney, also London, in 1617. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Felix Adneyr, which was dated July 31st 1541, married at St Mary Magdalene, city of London, England, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as 'Bluff King Hal', 1510 - 1547. 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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