This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a locality in Godalming, Surrey, called Michen (Hall). The component elements of the placename are believed to be the Olde English pre 7th Century "micel", great or large, with "hall", residence, manor house. Mitcham, north-west of Croydon (Surrey), recorded as "Michelham" in the Domesday Book of 1086, also has "micel" (above) as its initial element, with "ham", enclosure, settlement. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. One Richard Mychenall was noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, dated 1524. The addition of "er" to placenames and to topographical features was particularly common in Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Essex and Hampshire, from the beginning of the 14th Century, and Mitchiner, with variant forms Michenor, Micheyner and Mitchener, is well recorded in Surrey Church Registers from the mid 16th Century. On November 10th 1549, Agnes Mitchener and John Hunte were married in Ockley, and on August 10th 1690, James, son of Henry Mitchiner, was christened in Leatherhead. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is ermine, a fesse between three black hunting horns, stringed red. A silver dove is on the Crest. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Michenhale, which was dated 1347, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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