Tennison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Tennison family name is linked to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from the baptismal name for the son of Dennis, which was originally derived from the Latin Dionysius. In the religious naming tradition surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint.

Early Origins of the Tennison family

The surname Tennison was first found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early History of the Tennison family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tennison research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1636, 1715, 1694, 1685, 1714, 1809, 1892, 1636, 1715, 1644, 1642, 1705, 1697, 1698, 1673, 1735, 1735, 1640, 1705, 1640 and 1645 are included under the topic Early Tennison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tennison 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 Tennison include Tennyson, Tenison, Tennison and others.

Early Notables of the Tennison family (pre 1700)

Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tennison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Tennison family to Ireland

Some of the Tennison family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 152 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tennison 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 Tennison were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Tennison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Tennison, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1850

Contemporary Notables of the name Tennison (post 1700) +

  • John T. Tennison, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Texas State House of Representatives 116th District, 2006


The Tennison Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nil Temere
Motto Translation: Not Rashly.


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