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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The present generation of the Kenward family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in the settlement of Kenwood in Kenton in the county of Devon. The surname Kenward belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Kenward include Kenwood, Kentwood, Kenward, Kentward, Kenswood and others.

First found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kenward research. Another 305 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1086 and 1274 are included under the topic Early Kenward History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kenward Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • J. Kenward, who was on record in Ontario in 1816

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  • Richard Kenward (1875-1957), English cricketer
  • James Kenward (1908-1994), English author and illustrator
  • Harry Kenward, researcher and professor of archeology at the University of York, England
  • Shane Kenward (b. 1972), Australian professional rugby league footballer


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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  11. ...

The Kenward Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kenward 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 25 April 2012 at 13:53.

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