This is an English locational surname of some antiquity, from any of the places called 'Penrose' in Cornwall and in Wales. There are ten places of the name in Cornwall, several in Wales, and in Herefordshire near the Welsh border. These locations are sure indicators of the ancient Celtic origin of the name, which means 'the head or end, or the moor, heathland, or hill'. The derivation is from the Celtic elements 'pen' meaning head, top or end, with 'ros', heath, moorland or projection, hill or spur. A notable bearer of the name was Sir Charles Vinicombe Penrose (1759 - 1830), was in command of a squadron co-operating with the army in the Peninsula War (1813), and chief in command in the Mediterranean in 1814 and 1816. He was awarded the K.C.B. and G.C.M.G. in 1816 and appointed vice-admiral in 1821. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Philip de Penros, which was dated 1195, The Pipe Rolls of Cornwall, during the reign of King Richard I, The Lionheart, 1189 - 1199. 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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