Tranoorthay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The illustrious surname Tranoorthay finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Tranoorthay is a local type of surname and the Tranoorthay family lived in Cornwall at the manor of Trenowth in Crantock.
Early Origins of the Tranoorthay family
The surname Tranoorthay was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Trenowth in Crantock. They are described as a very ancient and powerful family of Cornwall and the first on record is a junior branch of the powerful Trenowths of Trenowth, John Trenowth of Cornewe and Tillond, whose daughters and co-heiresses married into the Sprys of Cornwall. "The original name of this family was Baillie. Thomas Baillie, the first ancestor, was living temp. Edward III. His son, Henry Baillie, obtaining from the Duchy of Cornwall, a grant of the manor and barton of Trenwith, near St. Ives, began to write himself De Trenwith." 
Important Dates for the Tranoorthay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tranoorthay research. Another 125 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1280 and 1560 are included under the topic Early Tranoorthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Tranoorthay Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Trenowth, Trenowith, Trenoth, Trenoith and others.
Early Notables of the Tranoorthay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Tranoorthay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Tranoorthay family
An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Tranoorthay: William Trenoth who landed in North America in 1713.
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- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.