Recorded as Trenholm and Trenholme, this is an English surname. It is locational from the village of Trenholme near Stokesley in North Yorkshire, which according to the Oxford Dictionary of English place names, translates as the "the flat lands (holm) where the cranes gather", from the pre 7th century Old Norse word "trani", meaning the crane bird. The town of Tranmere in Cheshire apparently has the same origin. This seems a reasonable explanation although another possibility is from the Olde English words "trendel-holm" meaning a fort or castle on the flat land. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say surnames given as easy identification to people after they had left their original homes to move somewhere else. In this case many of the nameholders clearly did not move very far, as the surname is well recorded in the early surviving church registers of the region from the mid 16th century. These recordings include such examples as Edward Thenholme whose daughter Ann was christened at Stokesley on September 8th 1669, and Thomas Trenholm, a witness at the parish church of Stainton in Cleveland on February 7th 1693, whilst somewhat later and two hundred miles away, we have the recording of William Trenholme, whose daughter Margaret was christened at Christ Church Greyfriars, in the city of London, on November 11th 1745.
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