Saturday, 22 November 2014

Names: More than labels...

Words - meanings and derivations - fascinate me, especially when they are personal names or place names. There are a lot of sites out there where I can indulge my curiosity, so I picked one at random, and decided to investigate my family names. I have three I can play with; adopted name, married name and birth name. The results are intriguing, and could easily flush out the odd plot bunny if ever the ideas dry up. 

All of the below information comes from the Surname Database...

Last name: Quinton
This unusual and interesting name has a number of possible origins. The most likely of these is of Anglo-Saxon origin, from one of the places called Quinton in Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Worcestershire. The first of these places is recorded in 848 as "Quentone", and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Quintone". The name means "the queen's manor", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cwen", queen, with "tun", enclosure, farm, estate. Another possible origin is from the Old French given name "Quentin" or "Quintin", which means "fifth-born", from the Latin "quintinus", and a further French origin is locational from anyone of the places in Normandy named from St. Quentin of Amiens. Quainton is a variant of the more common surname Queinton. Henry Quinton, aged 20 yrs., was one of the earliest settlers in the New World, having travelled to Virginia, from London aboard the "Bonaventure" under James Ricrofte, in January 1634. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gladewin de Quenton, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Last name: Power
This interesting surname has two distinct possible origins, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, the name may be locational from the Old French "Pohier", indicating a native of Pois, a town in Picardy, North France, so called from the Old French "pois", fish, because of its well-stocked rivers. Locational surnames were originally given to the lord of the manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. The surname from this source was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It entered Ireland in 1170 when a bearer of the name le Poer took part in Strongbow's invasion of Wexford. The name, initially Gaelicized "de Paor", and later Anglicized "Power", became one of the most completely Hibernicized of the surnames introduced at the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion. Poore may also have originated as a nickname for a poor man, or ironically for a miser, from the Middle English and Old French "povre, poure", poor. In the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, dated 1296 to 1332, the name appears as "le Poer, le Power", and "Power", and Richard le Poor, Poore or Poure (deceased 1237), was successively bishop of Chichester, Salisbury, and Durham. A Coat of Arms granted to the Poore family of Oxfordshire, is a silver shield with three black bars nebulee, over all a gold bend. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Drogo Poher, which was dated 1127, in the "Ancient Charters of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 

Last name: Hayes
This distinguished and ancient surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any one of a number of places called "Hayes". Hayes in Kent, recorded as "Hese" in the 1168 Pipe Rolls, and in Middlesex, recorded as "Hesa" in the Domesday Book of 1086, derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century "haes", brushwood or underwood. Hayes in Devonshire and Dorset is the plural of the Olde English "(ge)horg" an enclosure, or "hege" a hedge. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below), and can also be found as Heyes and Hease. Henry Heyse is noted in the Chartulary of Ramsey Abbey, Cambridgeshire (1240). Agnes Hayes married Willmus Smallrydge on October 18th 1543, in Devon. One Martin Hayes, together with his wife and child, is recorded as living in the Barbados in 1680; he was one of the earliest settlers in the New World. There are no less than nineteen Coats of Arms granted to this illustrious family. One granted to the Hayes family in Middlesex is blue, on a gold pale three black bulls heads couped. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de la Heise, which was dated 1197, in the "Eynsham Cartulary of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199.

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