Recorded in the spellings of Kynoch, Kinnoch, Kinnach, Kinnerk and Kinnock, this is an ancient Scottish surname. As Kynoch it has long been associated with the finest of Scottish knitwear, whilst as Kinnock it has more recently been the surname of the leader of the British 'Labour Party', even though he was in fact born in Wales. However spelt the surname originates from the pre 8th century Gaelic 'Cainnech', now the personal name Kenneth, the base form also being found in such clan names as Kennedy. The translation is 'hard head' from the pre 7th century 'ceann' meaning head and 'eidigh', hard or possibly armoured, as in wearing a helmet, at a time when few could afford such luxuries. Like many Gaelic surnames it is a nickname, and one that was given to the first chief of the family. Carried by several early Gaelic kings both in Scotland and Ireland, the 'Cainnech' was clearly considered complimentary or it could hardly have survived over so many centuries. The early surname recordings taken from surviving Scottish rolls, charters, and registers of the post medieval period include: William Kinzeoch, who may have been the sheriff of Methven in 1588, and William Kannach of Ardune in 1610. Members of the 'family' were amongst those who supported the activites of the banned and outlawed Clan MacGregor. Duncan Kynnoch of Dalcroane, being arrested and fined in 1613 for attempting to 'reset the Clan Gregor'. He must have been quick off the mark, as it was only in that year that the ban came into effect. Later recordings include Thomas Kinnoch of Dalmungell in 1742, and William Kynoch of Longhillock, in 1752.
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