This locational surname recorded in the spellings of Heningham, Henningham, Heningam, and the seemingly dialectal Heninghem, is almost certainly pre 7th century Olde English in origin. It may be from the village of Hensingham in Cumberland, translating as the place (ham) of the Hynsige tribe, or it may be from a now 'lost' medieval village somewhere else. Hensigham village is first recorded as 'Ensingham' in the taxation rolls known as 'The feet of fines', in the year 1276. Some five thousand, or about 10% of all British surnames, are believed to originate from lost villages, so whilst this phenomena is unusual, it is not uncommon.The spelling as Heninghem seems to be a form first recorded in the counties of Buckingham and Hertford, and whilst there has been a suggestion that this may be an imported surname from The Netherlands or Germany, no similar spelling has been proven in the registers of those countries. It is true to that the Germanic surnames of Henimann and Hennigmann bear some resemblance, but as the name as Henningam is well recorded in London in Elizabethan times, and as there is a clear line of development, we are reasonably satisfied that that the name is of English origins. Examples of these early recordings taken from the relevant surving church registers includes: George Henningam, who married Joane Bell at the church of St Mary-le-Bone, London, on August 15th 1591, and Mary Heningham, christened at St Margarets, Westminster, on June 24th 1599. Later examples are those of Richard Heninghem, the son of Richard Heninghem, christened at High Wycome, Buckinghamshire, on September 10th 1798, and John Heninghem, who married Sarah Chapple, at the church of St Clements Danes, London, on August 6th 1839.
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