This interesting surname with variant spellings Stenet, Stennet, Stenett, Stennett etc., derives from the old Norse personal name "Steinn", old Danish "sten" meaning "stone", plus the diminutive suffix "et". The personal name is recorded as Stain, Stein, Sten in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Steyne de Holton (1246) "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire". The surname dates back to the mid 17th Century, (see below). Further recordings include John, son of John Stennet who was christened on April 25th 1666 in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, William son of Matthew and Jane Stennett who was christened on February 28th 1668 at St. Sepulchre, London and Mary, daughter of John and Mary Stennett who was christened on February 17th 1673 also at St. Sepulchre. Amongst the namebearers in the Dictionary of National Biography is Joseph Stennett (1663 - 1713) a seventh day baptist. He was a Sunday lecturer in Paul's Abbey, Barbican, London. Eight of his hymns are still in use. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Stenett who married Sarah Hughes, which was dated 1651, St. Bartholomew the Less, London, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, "the Great Protector", 1649 - 1658. 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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