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Nanphen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Origins Available: English, Welsh

The Nanphen history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Nanphen history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Nanphen family originally lived in the village of Nanfan, in Cornwall. Members of the family were involved in the blacksmith trade and prior to the 18th century often went by the occupational name Trengove, from the Cornish words tren meaning strong, and angove, meaning smith. Many used the name Trengoff of Nance.

Early Origins of the Nanphen family

The surname Nanphen was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Nanfan some say at the time of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 by Duke William of Normandy.

Early History of the Nanphen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nanphen research.
Another 179 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nanphen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nanphen Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Nanfan, Nanfant, Nantford and others.

Early Notables of the Nanphen family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Nanphen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Nanphen family to the New World and Oceana

In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Nanphen John Nanfant who settled in Carolina in 1710; and Francis Nantford who settled in Barbados in 1672.

Nanphen Family Crest Products

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