This unusual and interesting name is of Norman origin, and found chiefly in Kent and Sussex. It is a medieval occupational name for a designer or engineer, derived from the Olde French "engineor", a contriver, a derivative of "engaigne", meaning cunning, ingenuity, stratagem, device, which in Middle English became "ingeniator". The word was used in the 12th Century to describe men who combined the duties and skills of master mason and architect, although the principal occupation of medieval engineers was designing and building military machines, sieze engines and the like. The name development has included William Enginur (1202, Suffolk) Robert le Ginnur (1229, London) and Robert Jenour (1327, Suffolk). The modern surname can be Jenner, Jenoure, Genner, Genower or Ginner. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Lenginnur, which was dated 1191, in the "Yorkshire Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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