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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The Trenoweth history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Trenoweth history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Trenoweth family originally lived in Cornwall at the manor of Trenowth in Crantock.
The surname Trenoweth 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." 
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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Trenoweth research. Another 249 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1280 and 1560 are included under the topic Early Trenoweth History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Trenoweth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Trenoweth Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The Trenoweth Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Trenoweth 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 April 2016 at 14:51.