This is a Kentish locational surname, which seems to have undergone a number of interesting changes. It originates at the ancient manor of 'Cyngessnade', near Ashford, first recorded in Anglo-Saxon times, and describing an area of forest (snaed) belonging to the king. This was probably a hunting park, although this is not certain, the first definite recording (as a village) being in 1278 when 'Kyngesnode' appears in the county rolls for that year. This in fact seems to be the original spelling form for the surname, and it is possible that the original medieval village was 'cleared' in circa 1530, and then reinstated sometime later but in the modern spelling of 'Kingsnorth'.What is known is that the surname as 'Kingsnode, Kingsnod, Kingnoad, etc' has its epicentre in Canterbury, whilst the first Kingsnorth nameholders seem to be recorded at Pluckley, near Ashford. Examples of the surname recording include William Kingsnorth, who married Susan Waterman at Pluckley, on April 20th 1612, and Marie Kingsnoth, daughter of James Kingsnoth, who was christened at Shorne, Kent, on August 22nd 1652, during the 'reign' of Oliver Cromwell. William Kingsnorth who moved from Kent, was a witness at St Sepulchre Church, London, on August 4th 1703. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Kingsnod, which was dated February 14th 1573, who was christened at St George, The Martyr, Canterbury, 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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