This unusual name is an example of an English locational surname having its origins in the placename Kennerleigh in Devonshire. The placename is first recorded in 1219 as "Kenewarlegh" and means "Cyneweard's wood", or "glade in a wood". The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century personal name "Cyneweard", composed of the elements "cyne", royal and "heard", brave or strong, or "weard", guard, with the suffix "leah", a clearing in a wood, hence a glade or meadow. Locational names were used especially of those people who left their original homes and went to live or work in another village or town.One Ann Kennerley married Thomas Strong on the June 13th 1784, at St. Mary's Church, Putney, in London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Kennerley family depicts a fesse between two silver crosses patteee, the Crest being a lion's gamb holding a laurel branch proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Kenardel, which was dated 1243, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman" 1216 - 1272. 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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