Recorded in a wide range of spellings including Annyan, Anion, Anyon, Ennion, Onion, Onions, Onyon, and the Irish looking O'Nions, this is generally regarded as being an English surname. However it derives either from the Olde French word 'oignon,' and denotes a seller or grower of onions, or in most cases from the pre 10th century Olde English and Welsh personal name 'Enniaun' meaning 'The Anvil'. The surname was widely recorded in the Middle Ages and in Elizabethan times we have the recording of Henrye Oignon at the church of St Botolphs Bishopgate in the city of London on April 25th 1593. It would also seem that French Huguenot refugees called Ognon were recorded in England after 1650. The surname has also been claimed as an Irish surname, because branches of the family, originally Welsh protestant settlers and probably called Ennion, were recorded in that country. In possible support of the 'Irish connection', the surname is sometimes recorded as O'Nions, although not apparently in Ireland itself. That the name has always been held in good standing is shown by the grant of arms. This has the blazon of a red field, a chevron ermine, between three gold mill rinds, and the crest of a hand holding a spear. Examples of the early recordings include Robert Oygnoun in the pipe rolls of the town of Hastings in Sussex in 1295, Robery Onnyon in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1524, and Raphe Anyon in the register of the church of St Lawrence Jewry, London in 1552. Thomas Oynion and Thomas Onion were both recorded in Suffolk in 1686. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Onioun and dated 1279, in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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