This long-established surname is of early medieval Cornish origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places named with the Cornish "tre", homestead, and "noweth", new; hence, "new homestead". These places include: Trenoweth in Probus; Trenowth in St. Cleer and St. Columb Major; and Trenouth in St. Ervan and Tintagel. Trenowth near Truro was recorded as "Trefneweth" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 969, and the first element "tre", widespread in placenames of Wales and Cornwall, may be variously interpreted as "homestead, village" or "town". Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. The majority of Cornish names are locational, and an old rhyme runs, "By Tre- (homestead), Pol- (stream), and Pen- (summit, promontory), Ye may know most Cornish men". On April 25th 1574, Dorythy, daughter of Edward Trenoweth, was christened at St. Keverne, Cornwall. A Coat of Arms granted to the Trenoweth family of Cornwall, descended from John de Trenowith, who lived in the reign of Henry 11 (1154 - 1189), is described thus: "Argent, on a fess sable three chevronels palewise, points to the dexter argent". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ranulf de Trenewyth, which was dated circa 1210, in the "Book of Fees of Cornwall", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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