Newnam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Newnam first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived 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. [1]

The Domesday Book of 1086 includes early entries for Neuneham, (Gloucestershire) and Neuham (Hertfordshire.) [2] 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 Newnam family

The surname Newnam was first found in Cambridgeshire where Ralph de Neunenham was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [3]

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." [4]

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." [5]

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." [6]

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. [6]

Robert de Newenham was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296 and much later, George Newnam was found in Devon in 1642. [7]

Early History of the Newnam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Newnam research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1576, 1743, 1750 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Newnam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Newnam Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Newnam has appeared include Newnam, Newnham, Newenham, Newengham, Newnhom, Newnom and many more.

Early Notables of the Newnam family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Newnam family to Ireland

Some of the Newnam 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.


United States Newnam migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Newnam arrived in North America very early:

Newnam Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • John Cornelius Newnam, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Carrillo" from Cristobal, C.Z [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Newnam (post 1700) +

  • George N. Newnam, American politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates from Queen Anne's County, 1841 [9]


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  8. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6WG-7X9 : 6 December 2014), John Cornelius Newnam, 19 Aug 1919; citing departure port Cristobal, C.Z, arrival port New York, ship name Carrillo, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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