This interesting surname is of Ancient British, pre Christian origins. Originally associated only with the county of Lancashire, it is a locational surname, and derives from the hamlet of Kenyon, in the parish of Winwick, near Warrington. First recorded in the ancient tax rolls of the county in the year 1212 as Kenien, which was also the name of the lord of the manor as shown below, the hamlet was later in 1288 recorded as Kynian, so much for early spelling. The place name and hence the surname, is thought to originate from the British or Welsh personal name of ancient times 'Enion' plus the word cruc, meaning the burial mound of Enion, presumably an ancient chief. Enion is the same as the modern Welsh name Einion, meaning 'anvil', no doubt a contributory factor in its early popularity, since at various times it has been the personal name of chiefs and bards. The modern surname is now found in various spellings. These include Kenyon, Kenion and Kennion. Early examples of the surname recordings include: Jordan Kenyon of Lancashire in the year 1260, and Nicholas Kynion of Chshire in 1288. Jacobus Kenyon was a member of the famous Preston Guild, being recorded as a shoemaker in the year 1562. The first recording is that of the lord of the manor, being one Robert de Kenien in the Book of Fees, an ancient tax record, for the year 1212.
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