Capenhurst History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Capenhurst family
The surname Capenhurst was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Capenhurst, held by David from William FitzNigel, a Norman noble, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
Early History of the Capenhurst family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Capenhurst research. Another 142 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600 and 1535 are included under the topic Early Capenhurst History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Capenhurst Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Capenhurst, Capponhurst, Caponhurst, Cappenhurst, Caponhirst, Caponhearst, Capponhearst, Cappenhirst, Caphurst, Caphirst, Capherst and many more.
Early Notables of the Capenhurst family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Capenhurst Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Capenhurst family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Capenhurst or a variant listed above: settlers were recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Florida, and to the islands..
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- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)