Shropshire. The surname Kynnaston belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Kynnaston family
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 Kynnaston family
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Kynnaston Spelling Variations
Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Kynnaston has occasionally been spelled Kynaston, Kynerston, Kinnaston, Kinaston, Keniston, Kennison, Kenison and many more.
Early Notables of the Kynnaston family (pre 1700)
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...
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Migration of the Kynnaston family to the New World and Oceana
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Kynnaston: Allen Keniston, who sailed to Virginia in 1624; Richard Keniston to Virginia in 1655; and Mary Kynaston, who landed in America in 1769.
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