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Tennyson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The Anglo-Saxon name Tennyson 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 Tennyson family


The surname Tennyson 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 Tennyson family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tennyson research.
Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1636, 1715, 1694, 1685, 1714, 1809, 1892, 1636, 1715, 1673, 1735, 1642, 1705, 1697 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Tennyson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tennyson 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 Tennyson has appeared include Tennyson, Tenison, Tennison and others.

Early Notables of the Tennyson family (pre 1700)


Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tennyson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Tennyson family to Ireland


Some of the Tennyson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 103 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Tennyson family to the New World and Oceana


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 Tennyson arrived in North America very early: John Tennison arrived in Philadelphia in 1850; John R. Tenison settled in Pennsylvania in 1850.

Contemporary Notables of the name Tennyson (post 1700)


  • Mildred Tennyson, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arkansas, 1972
  • Lionel Tennyson (1889-1951), 3rd Baron Tennyson, English cricketer
  • Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892), English 1st Baron Tennyson, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom
  • Pen Tennyson (1912-1941), British film director
  • Nick Tennyson, former mayor of Durham, North Carolina
  • David Tennyson (b. 1960), 6th Baron Tennyson
  • Harold Tennyson (1919-1991), 4th Baron Tennyson
  • Hallam Tennyson (1852-1928), 2nd Baron Tennyson, second Governor-General of Australia
  • Emily Tennyson (1813-1896), Baroness Tennyson, wife of Alfred Tennyson

The Tennyson 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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