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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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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 Chenouth, Chinouth, Chenow, Chenou and others.

First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Chinouth. Cornwall was a land set apart, a land of mystique and quaint customs, more strongly related to Brittany and Wales than to England. It was not until the 10th century that they submitted to the Saxon rule of England. Since then, their influence has moved east into Devon, Somerset and Dorset.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chenoweth research. Another 243 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1510 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Chenoweth History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Chenoweth:

Chenoweth Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Thomas Chenoweth, who landed in Alabama in 1913

Chenoweth Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Chenoweth, aged 32, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer"
  • Joseph Chenoweth, aged 24, a mason, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Lysander"
  • Jane Chenoweth, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Lysander"
  • John Chenoweth, aged 23, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Fortune"
  • Ellen Chenoweth, aged 20, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "South Sea"


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  • Francis A. Chenoweth (1819-1899), American lawyer and politician
  • Vida Chenoweth (b. 1929), the first American professional solo classical marimbist
  • John Edgar Chenoweth (1897-1986), American Republican politician
  • Kristin Chenoweth (b. 1968), American singer and actress
  • Lemuel Chenoweth (1811-1887), American carpenter, legislator and self-educated architect
  • John Edgar Chenoweth (1897-1986), American Republican politician, Colorado Republican State Chair, 1937-40; U.S. Representative from Colorado 3rd District, 1941-49, 1951-65; Defeated, 1948, 1964
  • John Bartlett Chenoweth (1914-1966), American Democrat politician, Randolph County Sheriff, 1948-52; Member of West Virginia State Senate 12th District, 1955-58
  • Helen P. Chenoweth (1938-2006), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Idaho 1st District, 1995-2001
  • Harry William Chenoweth (d. 1997), American politician, Mayor of Nutley, New Jersey, 1953-54
  • Doral Park Chenoweth Jr., American politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Kanawha County, 1947-48

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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Chenoweth Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Chenoweth 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 12 January 2016 at 13:10.

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