Kinnersley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Kinnersley date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Kinnersley family lived in Kinnersley or Kinnerley. Kinnerley is found in Salop (now called Shropshire), and Kinnersley, in Herefordshire. The place-names come from a similar root, though.

They are both based upon the Old English personal name Cynheard, with the Old English word leah, which meant forest clearing, as a suffix. The place-name as a whole meant forest clearing belonging to Cynheard. [1]

The Herefordshire parish "had a castle of some importance before the Conquest, the remains of which have been converted into a residence." [2]

The Shropshire parish had a "castle [which] was demolished during the minority of Henry III., by Llewelyn, Prince of Wales, who agreed to make reparation for the act; but the building was never habitable afterwards." [2]

Early Origins of the Kinnersley family

The surname Kinnersley was first found in Herefordshire where, according to an ancient manuscript the family is possessed of a very ancient pedigree. The manuscript reads: "The family of the Kynnersley is very ancient, being seated long before the Norman Conquest (1066 A.D) in the commune of Hereford in a castle so called at present. In the Domesday Book it is recorded that when William the Conqueror was possessed of his new kingdom he sent his commissioners throughout ye remote parts thereof (1086,) to knowe how every man held his lands. In which tyme there was an ould gentleman that lived and was owner of Kynnardsley Castle in Hereford by name John de Kynnardsley, and by title a knight (if any knights were before the Conquest). This old gentleman was blind, he had then livving with him twelve sonnes (sons,) whom with himself he armed, and stood in his castle gate, his halberd in his hand, attending the coming of sheriffs and other commisioners from ye king, who being arrived, demanded of him by what tenure he held his castle and lands; ye old knight replyed by his armes, showing to them his halberd."

One source notes Hugh de Kinardeslegh, Herefordshire, Henry III-Edward I: temp. Henry III- Edward I. [3] By way of confirmation, another source notes that the same person (with a slightly different spelling) was listed Hugh de Kinardesle(g) was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Herefordshire in 1208 and then later in the Assize Rolls for Worcestershire in 1221. [4]

Early History of the Kinnersley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kinnersley research. Another 162 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1130, 1654, 1282, 1350, 1327, 1327, 1350 and 1348 are included under the topic Early Kinnersley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kinnersley Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Kinnersley are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Kinnersley include: Keynardsley, Kennersley, Kenersley, Kynnardsley, Kinnardsley, Kinnersley, Kynnersley, Kynersley, Kynersly, Kynnersly, Kinnersly, Kinersly, Kinnersley and many more.

Early Notables of the Kinnersley family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John De Kynardsley (1282-1350), English landowner who married Johanne De Kynardsley (née Ferrars) in 1327 and had John de Kynardsley...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kinnersley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Kinnersley family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Kinnersley or a variant listed above: Phillip Kennersley who settled in Virginia in 1635.


Contemporary Notables of the name Kinnersley (post 1700) +

  • William Morris Kinnersley, American physicist, known for his contributions to general relativity
  • Ebenezer Kinnersley (1711-1778), English scientist, inventor, and lecturer who specialized in the investigation of electricity; he emigrated to America where he died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the age of 66
  • Kenneth Charles Kinnersley (1914-1984), English cricketer who played for Somerset from 1932 to 1938


The Kinnersley 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: Timor Omnis Abesto
Motto Translation: Let all fear be far away


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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