This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor, unrecorded or now "lost" place believed to have been in Southern England, specifically in the Hampshire/Wiltshire area, because of the high incidence of early surname recordings from that region. The enforced "clearing" and enclosure of rural lands to make way for sheep pastures from the 15th Century onwards was the prime cause of medieval village disappearance, along with natural causes, such as the Black Death of 1348, in which over an eighth of the population perished. The component elements of this placename are believed to be the British (pre-Roman) "pen(n)", reflected in the Welsh and Cornish "pen", head, top, summit, end, also, "point, promontory", with the Olde English pre 7th Century "horn(a)", projection, tongue of land. This initial element is also found in Pinhoe, Devonshire; Penge (Surrey); and Pendock (Worcestershire). On November 8th 1583, Joan Pinhorne and Watts Shepherd were married in Britford, Wiltshire, and on October 15th 1638, the marriage of Ann Pinhorn to John Wright took place in Boldre Parish, Hampshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joan Pinhorne, which was dated February 13th 1575, marriage to Thomas Forell, at Ringwood, Hampshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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