Recorded in several forms including Kanson, Kenson, Kennson, Kinson, Kinsun, Kynson and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is well recorded in the surviving registers of the city of London, from early Stuart times. As to its actual origin, we remain uncertain.The etymology would suggest that it is a patronymic of the Olde English word "cyne" meaning a chief or king, and hence the son of such a person, but this is to very unlikely. However like the surname King it could have been a nickname perhaps for an actor who played the part of a king's son in the famous travelling theatres of the medieval times.Alternatively it could be a short form of a locational surname such as Kingston or Kington or a development of Kenneth's son, as Kenneth was a popular early medieval name, particularly in Scotland. The problem with all surnames which do not have an obvious meaning or origin, is that without being present when the name was created, perhaps by the slip of a pen in a register or charter, observations have to be subjective. Early recordings include Dorythie Kanson who married Thomas Lynsey at St Giles Cripplegate in the city of London on November 2nd 1618, Elizabeth Kinson who married Robert Hatton at St Brides Fleet Street, also city of London, on June 1st 1637, and Elizabeth Kenson, who was christened at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on March 2nd 1642.
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