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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Welsh Kenison family come from? What is the Welsh Kenison family crest and coat of arms? When did the Kenison family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Kenison family history?

The forbears of the name Kenison once lived in or near some now-lost place called Kynaston, which experts agree was probably in the English border county of Shropshire. The surname Kenison belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Kenison have included Kynaston, Kynerston, Kinnaston, Kinaston, Keniston, Kennison, Kenison and many more.

First found in Shropshire, where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Kinnerly, some say before the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066. Conjecturally they are descended from the Princes of Powys in Wales, through Griffith, son of Joerweth Goch, Lord of Mochnan, younger son of Meredith, Prince of Powis who took refuge in Shropshire. King Henry III of England gave him lands in that county. He married Matilda, the heiress of Ralph le Strange by whom he acquired the Manor of Kinnerly. Griffith' son, Griffith Vychan settled at Tre-gynvarth, which, when anglicized, is Kynvarth's Town, which, when spoken, became slurred into Kynastown, or Kynaston.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kenison research. Another 403 words(29 lines of text) covering the years 1433, 1495, 1459, 1534, 1491, 1564, 1516, 1590, 1554, 1587, 1642, 1621, 1622, 1640 and 1712 are included under the topic Early Kenison History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 175 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kenison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The Welsh began to emigrate to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of land, work, and freedom. Those that arrived helped shape the industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. The records regarding immigration and passenger show a number of people bearing the name Kenison: Allen Keniston, who sailed to Virginia in 1624; Richard Keniston to Virginia in 1655; and Mary Kynaston, who landed in America in 1769.

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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Kenison Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kenison Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 October 2013 at 09:33.

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