name Nanau can be traced back to when the Nanau family lived in the settlement of Nannau, which is in the county of Merioneth. The root of this place-name is probably the Celtic word "nant," which means "brook." The surname belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Nanau family
The surname Nanau was first found in Merionethshire
(Welsh: Sir Feirionnydd), made a county in Northwest Wales
in 1284, and anciently part of the kingdom of Gwynedd, where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Early History of the Nanau family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nanau research.Another 167 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1578, 1691, 1767, 1718 and 1725 are included under the topic Early Nanau History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nanau 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 Nanau have included Nanney, Nanny, Nannau, Nanphan and others.
Early Notables of the Nanau family (pre 1700)
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nanau Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nanau family to the New World and Oceana
North America in the 1800s and 1900s saw the arrival of many Welsh
people hoping to share in the wealth of land, work, and freedom that they felt North America held. Those who made the journey often attained those expectations, but only through an enormous amount of hard work, perseverance, and often a bout of good luck. These immigrants helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and culture of both Canada and the United States. Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Nanau: Robert Nanney who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635; Martin Nanny arrived in Virginia in 1731.