Lenacre is one of the many names that the Normans
brought with them when they conquered England
in 1066. The Lenacre family lived in Cheshire
was an English topographic name for someone who lived near a field where flax was grown for the manufacture of linen cloth. It derives from the Old English word lin,
and the word aecer,
meaning cultivated field. Individual cases of the surname may be derived directly from this source, or second-hand from the towns of Linacre
and Cambridge, both of which get their names from this source.
Early Origins of the Lenacre family
The surname Lenacre was first found in Cheshire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor of Linacra in 1086. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, the family name is conjecturally descended from Godwin de Linacra, a Norman Baron, as noted in 1086. However, it is likely that soon after, they gave their name to Linacre across the River Mersey from Meols, now a suburb of Liverpool and in the parish of Walton on the Hill.
Early History of the Lenacre family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lenacre research.Another 151 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1460, 1524, 1500, 1518 and 1620 are included under the topic Early Lenacre History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Lenacre Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations
. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Linacre, Linaker, Leneker, Linneker, Liniker, Linnecar, Linnecor, Linegar, Linnegar, Lineker, Lynaker, Lynacre, Lynneker, Lenniker and many more.
Early Notables of the Lenacre family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Linacre (c1460-1524) humanist and physician who was born in Canterbury. Eramus and Sir Thomas More were taught Greek by him and about 1500... Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lenacre Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Lenacre family to Ireland
Some of the Lenacre 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 Lenacre family to the New World and Oceana
Because of the political and religious discontent in England
, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Lenacre name or one of its variants: James Linacre, who settled in New York in 1796.