Recorded in a great number of spellings including Canacot, Cancott, Cancot, Canncot, Cannicot, Cannicott, Canncott, Cancutt, Cankett, Cennycut, Kencott, Kennicott, and probably others, this is an English locational surname. It is probably from Kenncott, an Oxfordshire village which seems to have been "diminished" in size in the 17th century, or from a now "lost" medieval village. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names Kenncott translates as "Cena's cottage" with Cena being apparently an early personal name.However it is at least possible that it means the cottage on the river, as the first recording (in 1130) is as Chenicota. Chen is usually from the Olde English word "ceint" meaning river, and there are a number of places such as Kenchester in Herefordshire, meaning the castle on the river, or Kenn in Devon and Kenn in Kent both recorded as "Chen" in the famous Domesday Book of 1066. We are unclear as to when the surname was first recorded, but being a locational name it is also a "from" name. This is to say a surname of identity given to a person after he, or sometimes she, left their original homes to move somewhere else. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, often as with this name lead to the creation of many "sounds like" spellings. An early recording is that of Gabryell Kennicott also recorded as Kinneycott, at St Nicholas Acorns in the city of London, on November 10th 1625, Alice Cancott, christened at St James Clerkenwell also city of London, on July 31st 1626, and Mary Cankett who married John Oliver at St James, Dukes Place, Westminster, on July 22nd 1666,
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