Recorded in several forms including Kennaird, Kennard, Kenward and Kenwood, this is an English surname of ancient origins. It derives from the Olde English pre 7th century personal name 'Cyneweard, generally considered to translate as 'Royal protector'. It was composed of the elements "cyne", meaning royal, and either "heard" meaning hardy, brave, or strong, or "weard", meaning guardian or protector. As a personal name it is well recorded in pre medieval times examples being Keneward le Lingedraper, in the rolls of the city of London in 1198, and Walter, son of Kentward of Warwickshire, in 1214. Examples of the early surname recordings taken from surviving church registers of the Elizabethan period include Mary Kennard at St Mary Woolchurch in the city of London, on December 1st 1598, and Peter Kennaird who married Frances Mills at Edmonton, London, on December 30th 1641. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Walter Kyneward. This was dated circa 1250, in the register of Ramsey Monastery, Bedfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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