This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a northern English locational name either from Keenley, a hamlet in Northumberland, or from Kinniside, in the parish of St. Bees, Cumberland. The component elements of Keenley are believed to be the Olde English pre 7th Century personal byname "Cena", keen, bold, with "leah", glade, clearing, with the later addition of the Middle English "side", slope of a hill, hillside. Recorded as "Kynisheved" in 1322, the Cumberland place is so called from the Olde English "Cena" (as above), or "Cyne", a byname meaning "king", with "heafod", head (land), summit. Locational surnames were originally given to the lord of the manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. Keenleyside, with variant spellings Keneleyside, Kindleside, Kinglesyd, Keenlayside and Kindleysides, is particularly well recorded in northern English Church Registers from the mid 16th Century. On January 12th 1697, Jane, daughter of Mathew Keenleyside, was christened in Allendale, Northumberland. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with three black battle-axes palewise, two and one, the Crest being a beacon lighted proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alleson Kenlasyd, which was dated December 2nd 1561, marriage to Emonte Greve, at St. Oswald's, Durham, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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