Show ContentsKenyan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Kenyan is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in the township of Kenyon found in the parish of Winwick in the county of Lancashire. 1

Early Origins of the Kenyan family

The surname Kenyan was first found in Lancashire where Lord Kenyon's family are descended from the Kenyons of Peele and their surname is doubtless derived from the township of Kenyon in that shire. 2

"Early mention is made of a family of the local name, and also of the Lauton family, of whom Jordan de Lauton, in the reign of Edward I., assumed the name of Kenyon. Kenyon Hall, the original residence of the Kenyons, was rebuilt in the 17th century, and is the property of the earl [of Wilton]. " 1

Lowton in Lancashire "gave name to a family who subsequently adopted the surname of Kenyon from their possessions in a neighbouring township." 1

Early History of the Kenyan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kenyan research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1812, 1848 and 1869 are included under the topic Early Kenyan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kenyan Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Kenyan family name include Kenyon, Kenion, Kennion and others.

Early Notables of the Kenyan family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Sir Thomas Kenyan of Lancashire

Ireland Migration of the Kenyan family to Ireland

Some of the Kenyan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Kenyan family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Kenyan surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Henry Kenyon arrived in Philadelphia in 1795; Bernard, James, Peter, Robert, Samuel and Thomas Kenyon all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860..

Contemporary Notables of the name Kenyan (post 1700) +

  • Kenyan R. McDuffie (b. 1975), American lawyer and politician, Member of the Council of the District of Columbia (2012-)

The Kenyan Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Magnanimiter crucem sustine
Motto Translation: Sustain the cross (i.e. support afflictions) with magnanimity.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. on Facebook