Kinnison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The forbears of the name Kinnison once lived in or near some now-lost place called Kynaston, which experts agree was probably in the English border county of Shropshire. The surname Kinnison belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Kinnison family
The surname Kinnison was first found in Shropshire, where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Kinnerly, some say before the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066. Conjecturally they are descended from the Princes of Powys in Wales, through Griffith, son of Joerweth Goch, Lord of Mochnan, younger son of Meredith, Prince of Powis who took refuge in Shropshire. King Henry III of England gave him lands in that county. He married Matilda, the heiress of Ralph le Strange by whom he acquired the Manor of Kinnerly. Griffith' son, Griffith Vychan settled at Tre-gynvarth, which, when anglicized, is Kynvarth's Town, which, when spoken, became slurred into Kynastown, or Kynaston.
Early History of the Kinnison family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kinnison research. Another 202 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1433, 1495, 1459, 1534, 1491, 1564, 1516, 1590, 1554, 1587, 1642, 1621, 1622, 1640 and 1712 are included under the topic Early Kinnison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kinnison Spelling Variations
There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Kinnison have included Kynaston, Kynerston, Kinnaston, Kinaston, Keniston, Kennison, Kenison and many more.
Early Notables of the Kinnison family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Francis Kynaston (1516-1590), an English politician, Member of the Parliament for Shropshire in April 1554; Sir Francis Kynaston or Kinaston (1587-1642), an English lawyer, courtier, poet and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to 1622...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kinnison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Kinnison is the 14,021st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
Migration of the Kinnison family
Many Welsh families joined their Scottish and Irish neighbors during the late 1800s and early 1900s in seeking refuge in North America. Like the Irish and Scottish, many Welsh anxiously awaited the work, freedom, and opportunities that they believed lay in North America. Those who did journey over to the United States and what became known as Canada often realized those dreams, but only through much toil and perseverance. Whenever and however these Welsh immigrants arrived in North America, they were instrumental in the creation of the industry, commerce, and cultural heritage within those two developing nations. In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Kinnison were found: Allen Keniston, who sailed to Virginia in 1624; Richard Keniston to Virginia in 1655; and Mary Kynaston, who landed in America in 1769.
Contemporary Notables of the name Kinnison (post 1700) +
- Jessica Kinnison Payne (b. 1899), American Republican politician, Secretary of West Virginia Republican Party, 1949-51; Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Cabell County, 1957-58 
- Evelyn Kinnison Blackmon (1924-2014), American realtor and politician, Louisiana State Representative from District 15 (Ouachita Parish) (1984-1988)
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