This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name either from the parish of Kingsdon near Somerton in Somerset, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cyning", king, with "dun", hill, mountain, or from any of three minor places named with the same elements. These are Higher Kingdon in Alverdiscott, Devon; Kendon in North Bovey, Devon, and Kendon, a locality in the Abercarn urban district of onmouthshire. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling of the name, which, in the modern idiom, is found as: Kingdon, Kindon and Kingdom. On November 21st 1545, John Kyngdom and Chrystian Belmonte were married at North Molton, Devonshire, and on June 16th 1578, John Kingdome married an Anne Berd at Crewkerne, Somerset. The marriage of Agnes Kingdom to William Gamons took place at Chittlehampton, Devon, on November 23rd 1698. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is an azure shield with three gold banners bendways in pale, flotant to the sinister. A red griffin's head, emerging from a gold ducal coronet, and holding in the beak a gold key, forms the Crest. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johane Kyngdon, which was dated November 7th 1539, marriage to John Byrd, at North Molton, Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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