For such a rare surname, its number of spelling forms is quite extraordinary. These include Queenett, Quinet, Quinnet, Quinnette, Quynat, Queynitt, and others. The origin of the name is almost certainly French, from the surname Quinet, itself an abbreviated form of Jacquinet, a female diminutive of the popular male name Jacque, itself the French form of the Hebrew Jacob. This personal name was first introduced into France by returning Crusaders from the Holy Land in the 12th century. As to when the name was first introduced into England is unclear.It was earlier than the famous Huguenots of the 17th and 18th century, and may have been brought in as early as the Flemish Weavers of the 14th century. Examples of the surname recording taken from the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater london include: Susan Queynitt, a witness at the church of St Lawrence Jewry, in the city of London, on June 13th 1583, Johes Queenett who married Anne Framer at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on August 16th 1631, and Mary Quinnet, who married Richard Osbourne at the famous church of St Marylebone, on November 30th 1700. Over the centuries surnames have continued to develop, often leading to modern forms totally distinct from the early recordings.
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