Pinney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Pinney is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Pinney was a name used for a someone as a personal name or literally derived from the coin. It was derived from the Old English "Penig," denoting a coin. The penny was the only unit of coinage in England until the early 14th century, and as such was a coin of considerable value.

While the Saxon heritage is the generally accepted origin of this family, another source points to a possible Norman origin as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Serlo Penné in Normandy in 1180-1195. [1]

Early Origins of the Pinney family

The surname Pinney was first found in Northampton where they held a family seat from very early times, and before the 12th century had become associated with London and had moved north into Scotland.

Some of the first records of the family in Scotland include: Johannes Peny, a witness in Elgin in 1343; Mr. John Peny, a Scottish clerk, having a safe conduct in England in 1362; and a later John Peny who had a grant of the fulling mill of Ballernache in Perthshire in 1375. [2]

Down in Lancashire, an ancient branch of the family was found. "The neat village of Penny-Bridge, so called perhaps from the British word Pen, 'the head,' was the seat of the family of Penny. The chapel, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, was built and endowed by William Penny, Esq., was consecrated in 1791." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included various early spellings in many counties: Hurtin Peni in Kent; Alexander Penny in Cambridgeshire; Agatha Peni in Oxfordshire; and Robert Peni in Kent. [4]

Kirby's Quest listed Johanne Peny in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year's reign of King Edward III.) [5]

"In the reign of Anne, John Penny, Esq., lived at Charlton Musgrove, and at the same time a burgess of Glastonbury bore this name." [6]

Early History of the Pinney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pinney research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1433, 1487, 1486, 1487, 1500, 1529, 1683, 1574, 1520, 1477, 1496, 1589, 1296 and are included under the topic Early Pinney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pinney Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Pinney include Penny, Penney, Pennie, Penne and others.

Early Notables of the Pinney family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Penny (d. 1520), English Bishop of Carlisle. He was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford, and at some unknown time became LL.D. of Cambridge. In 1477 he was a canon at the abbey...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pinney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pinney Ranking

In the United States, the name Pinney is the 10,175th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Pinney family to Ireland

Some of the Pinney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Pinney migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Pinney were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Pinney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Humphrey Pinney, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1634 [8]
  • Thomas Pinney, who landed in Massachusetts in 1635 [8]
Pinney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elinor Pinney, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [8]

Australia Pinney migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Pinney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Pinney, aged 19, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Sumner"

Contemporary Notables of the name Pinney (post 1700) +

  • James Alonzo Pinney (1835-1914), American politician, Mayor of Boise, Idaho Territory (1881-1885)
  • Silas U. Pinney (1833-1899), American jurist and politician
  • Sean Patrick Pinney, American cardiologist, Associate Professor of Cardiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Roy Schiffer Pinney (1911-2010), American oldest surviving of the 500 war correspondents to cover the D-Day invasion
  • Patrick Pinney, American voice actor
  • Raymond Earl Pinney (b. 1954), former American NFL offensive tackle and guard
  • Benjamin F. Pinney, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Somers; Elected 1906; Defeated, 1926; First Selectman of Somers, Connecticut, 1910-11 [9]
  • Benjamin Pinney, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Ellington, 1823-24, 1833; Member of Connecticut State Senate 20th District, 1837 [9]
  • Asaph Pinney, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Colebrook, 1823 [9]
  • Allen Pinney, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Simsbury, 1839 [9]
  • ... (Another 28 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  8. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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