Kenning History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Kenning family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in one of the places called Kennington in Berkshire, Kent, or Surrey. The surname Kenning belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Kenning family

The surname Kenning was first found in Kent, Berkshire and Surrey, where they held a family seat before the Norman Conquest. The district of Kennington in Surrey is by far the oldest places on record. "The name is said to be of Saxon origin, there having been a royal palace here prior to the Conquest, whence the appellation Cynington, from the Saxon Cyning, a king. Kennington is distinguished in history as the scene of the banquet, or marriage festival of a Danish nobleman, at which Hardicanute, the son of Canute the Great, became the victim of his own intemperance, or, according to some writers, was poisoned." [1]

Early History of the Kenning family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kenning research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1086, 1222, 1273, 1273, 1369 and 1795 are included under the topic Early Kenning History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kenning Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Kenning include Kennington, Kenington, Keninton, Kenyngeton and many more.

Early Notables of the Kenning family (pre 1700)

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

United States Kenning migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Kenning or a variant listed above:

Kenning Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hanna Eliz Kenning, aged 24, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1787 [2]
Kenning Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Kenning, aged 36, who arrived in Delaware in 1812 [2]
  • Andrew and Catherine Kenning, who settled in Mobile, Alabama in 1832
  • Andrew Kenning, aged 31, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1832 [2]
  • Catherine Kenning, aged 34, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1832 [2]
  • William Kenning, who landed in Arkansas in 1886 [2]

Australia Kenning migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kenning Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Kenning, English agricultural labourer who was convicted in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England for life for burglary, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Miss Elizabeth Kenning who was convicted in Clerkenwell, London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 4th September 1847, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]

New Zealand Kenning migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Kenning Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Kenning, American settler travelling from Honolulu aboard the ship "Nebraska" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 16th November 1872 [5]
  • Mrs. Kenning, American settler travelling from Honolulu aboard the ship "Nebraska" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 16th November 1872 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kenning (post 1700) +

  • Charles Ethan Kenning (b. 1943), American singer, songwriter and musician, known by his stage name George Edwards, leader of the 1960s acid rock band, H. P. Lovecraft
  • Tony "Reuben" Kenning, British percussionist who played drums for the rock band Def Leppard (1977-1978)

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook
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