An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Heveningham, Heningham, Henington, Heningthon, Hemington, Hemmington, Hennington, Henningham, Heningford, Henningford, Hemmingford and many more.
First found in Norfolk 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 Hevingham, held by Godric, a Norman noble, from Walter Gifford who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. Godric had a priest who also held 4 acres of the holding for which he promised to sing three masses in any one week.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heningford research. Another 265 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1414, 1471, 1547, 1578, 1603, 1619, and 1674 are included under the topic Early Heningford History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Heningford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Heningford or a variant listed above: John Hemmington, who came to Virginia in 1587; S. Hemmington, who came to San Francisco in 1851; and Hermon Hemington, who arrived in Kansas in 1900.
The Heningford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Heningford 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 22 June 2011 at 12:18.