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Kanaley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



Cornwall in southwestern England provides the original birthplace of the surname Kanaley. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Kanaley history began in Devon, in the parish of Kennerleigh.

Early Origins of the Kanaley family


The surname Kanaley was first found in Devon, where they held a family seat from very early times.

Early History of the Kanaley family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kanaley research.
Another 274 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1243, 1500, 1661, 1746, and 1798 are included under the topic Early Kanaley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kanaley Spelling Variations


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 Kenerley, Kenerly, Kennerley, Kennerly, Kennerleigh, Kenerleigh, Kenardely and many more.

Early Notables of the Kanaley family (pre 1700)


More information is included under the topic Early Kanaley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Kanaley family to the New World and Oceana


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kanaley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Kanaley, aged 34, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Lady Ann"

Kanaley Family Crest Products



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