Knewenhan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Anglo-Saxon name Knewenhan comes from the family having resided in one of several places called Newnham throughout England. The place-name is derived from the Old English elements niwe, which means new, and ham, which means farm or village. 
The Domesday Book of 1086 includes early entries for Neuneham, (Gloucestershire) and Neuham (Hertfordshire.)  Both of these parishes would later be known as Newnham including the ancient Saxon parish in Northamptonshire, first known as Niwanham c. 1021-1031.
Early Origins of the Knewenhan family
The surname Knewenhan was first found in Cambridgeshire where Ralph de Neunenham was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. 
Another source notes that the family held "an estate in and near Rotherfield, co. Sussex, which had owners of its own name in the XIV, century." 
In Newnham, Gloucestershire "was anciently a castle, which in the time of our Norman kings constituted one of the fortresses of the Welsh frontier, but there are no traces of it." 
John de Newenham (d. 1382?), was Chamberlain of the Exchequer, "probably came of the Newenhams of Northamptonshire; he may be the John de Newenham who was rector of St. Mary-le-Bow in 1350. In 1352 he was incumbent of Stowe, and in 1353 of Ecton, both in Northamptonshire. In 1356 he acted on behalf of the prior and convent of Newenham or Newnham, Northamptonshire; and in 1359 he became prebendary of Bishopshill in Lichfield Cathedral." 
Thomas de Newenham (fl. 1393), Clerk in Chancery, was in all probability younger brother of the above; he is first mentioned as a clerk in chancery in 1367, when, like his brother, he appears for the convent of Newenham. He was one of the three persons appointed to the custody of the great seal (4 May to 21 June 1377), and on 22 June he delivered up the great seal to Richard II on his accession. 
Robert de Newenham was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296 and much later, George Newnam was found in Devon in 1642. 
Early History of the Knewenhan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knewenhan research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1576, 1743, 1750 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Knewenhan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Knewenhan Spelling Variations
Knewenhan has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Newnam, Newnham, Newenham, Newengham, Newnhom, Newnom and many more.
Early Notables of the Knewenhan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Knewenhan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Knewenhan family to Ireland
Some of the Knewenhan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Knewenhan family
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Knewenhans to arrive on North American shores: John Newnom who settled in Virginia in 1648; John Newham settled in Virginia in 1653; George Newnham settled in Maine in 1654; and Thomas Newnhom settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1796..
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- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)