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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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


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.


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.


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


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"


  • 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


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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  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 4 December 2013 at 21:43.

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