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

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

Kenyon is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Kenyon family once lived in the township of Kenyon found in the parish of Winwick in the county of Lancashire.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Kenyon family name include Kenyon, Kenion, Kennion and others.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kenyon research. Another 266 words(19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kenyon History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Kenyon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Kenyon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 116 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Kenyon surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Kenyon Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Henry Kenyon arrived in Philadelphia in 1795

Kenyon Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • James Kenyon, who arrived in New York, NY in 1834
  • William Kenyon, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835
  • B Kenyon, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • W J Kenyon, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Lewis Kenyon, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851


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  • William Squire Kenyon (1869-1933), U.S. Senator from Iowa, co-author of the Webb-Kenyon Act (1913) which prohibited the shipment of intoxicating beverages in interstate commerce
  • Jane Kenyon (1947-1955), American poet and translator
  • Dorothy Kenyon (1888-1972), American lawyer, judge, feminist and political activist
  • Mr. Frederick R. Kenyon (d. 1912), aged 41, American First Class passenger from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mrs. Marion Kenyon, (née Stauffer), aged 31, American First Class passenger from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 8
  • Donald Kenyon (1924-1996), English cricketer
  • James Kenyon (1850-1925), English cinematographer
  • Sir Frederic George Kenyon (1863-1952), British paleographer and biblical and classical scholar
  • Kathleen Kenyon (1906-1978), British archaeologist


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  • They Came to Find Their Dreams in Adams, New York by David A. Sinclair.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Magnanimiter crucem sustine
Motto Translation: Sustain the cross (i.e. support afflictions) with magnanimity.

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  1. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. 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.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Kenyon Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kenyon 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 21 June 2014 at 23:58.

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