Anniston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The origins of the name Anniston are from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the personal name Agnes, which itself is derived from the Greek name Hagne, which means pure and holy. The name was also used in the Latin phrase Agnus Dei, which means lamb of God. The personal name Agnes was popularized by devotees, the early Christian martyr, Saint Agnes. 
The name could have been an occupational name as one source notes it was "the old word for body-armour. Hence Lightharness, and the French Beauhamois, or 'fair harness.'' 
Early Origins of the Anniston family
The surname Anniston was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 where the name was found as a forename and surname: Robert filius Harneis, Lincolnshire; John filius Hernici, Lincolnshire; Roger Herneys, Norfolk; John Harneys, Cambridgeshire; and Heme' de Stano, Suffolk. 
The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Robert Arnys; Robertus Arnis; Johanna Ernys; and Robert Hernays. 
The name is a "well-known Lincolnshire surname to-day, and found there six centuries ago." 
Early History of the Anniston family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Anniston research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1402, 1384, 1790, 1869, 1790, 1804, 1883, 1804, 1825, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1832, 1834, 1850, 1854 and 1855 are included under the topic Early Anniston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Anniston Spelling Variations
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 Anniston family name include Anniss, Anness, Arness, Annison, Arnison, Annes, Ennis and many more.
Early Notables of the Anniston family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Dom João Anes (João Eanes), died 1402, bishop (since 1384), first archbishop of Lisbon; Annis of Nottingham.
William Harness (1790-1869), was the author of a 'Life of Shakespeare,' born near Wickham in Hampshire on 14 March 1790, was son of John Harness, M.D., commissioner of transports, and elder brother of Sir Henry Drury Harness. 
Sir Henry Drury Harness (1804-1883), the British general, colonel-commandant royal engineers, son of John Harness, Esq., M.D., Commissioner of the Transport Board, was born in 1804. Harness passed high out of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1825, but...
Migration of the Anniston family to Ireland
Some of the Anniston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the Anniston family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, 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 Anniston surname or a spelling variation of the name include: William Annis, who settled in Virginia in 1639; Thomas Anniss, aged 23, who settled there in 1683; as well as William Arness, who arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1685..