Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Agnew Name
Origins of Agnew:
The surname of Agnew has many possible origins from which it could have derived. The first possible origin of the surname of Agnew can be traced to the country of France. It is believed to be a locational surname; this means that it was often taken by the lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have taken a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. In the case of the surname of Agnew, the location from which the surname was said to hail was Agneaux, which was located in La Manche. Another possible origin of the surname of Agnew is that it was a nickname. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. In the instance of the surname of Agnew, it is said to come from the Old French word of “agnel,” which can be translated to mean “a lamb,” and was given to someone who was said to be meek or pious.
More common variations are: Eagnew, Aganew, Agneew, Aggnew, Aghnew, Aghinew, Egnew, Ignew, Ognew
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Agnew can be traced to the country of England. One person by the name of Thomas Agnel was mentioned in the document known as the Red Books of the Exchequer, in the country of Suffolk, in the year of 1201. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King John I of England, who was known throughout the ages as one “Lackland.” King John I of England ruled from the year of 1199 to the year of 1216. Other mentions of the surname of Agnew within the country of England included one Susanna Agniel who was registered in the document known as the Curia Regis Rolls of Berkshire in the year of 1206. One Francis Agnew and Margrett Strowde who were married on January 23rd, 1689 at St. James. Those who are known to bear the surname of Agnew within the country of England can be found in the area of the county of Lancashire.
The surname of Agnew can be found within the country of Scotland. Those who bear the surname of Agnew within the country of Scotland can be found in Refrewshire, Lanarkshire, and Ayrshire counties.
Within the United States of America, there are many people who bear the surname of Agnew. Those who are known by the surname of Agnew can be found in high concentrations within the areas of Maryland, New York, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, Ohio and within the state of Indiana.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Agnew: United States 11,720; England 3,571; Australia 2,364; Canada 2,180; Northern Ireland 1,657; Scotland 1,385; South Africa 1,151; New Zealand 992; Ireland 579; Namibia 203
Harold Melvin Agnew (1921-2013) who was a politician and physicist from America, who served as a member of the New Mexico State Senate from the year of 1955 to the year of 1961, and who also served as the director of Los Alamos National Laboratory from the year 1970 to the year 1979.
Charlie Agnew (1901-1978) who was a jazz musician and band-leader from America.
Robert Agnew (1899-1983) who was a film actor from America.
David Hayes Agnew (1818-1892) who was a surgeon in attendance when President Garfield was wounded by the bullet of an assassin in 1881.
Paul Agnew (born in 1964) who was a Baroque singer from Scotland.
Chloe Agnew (born in 1989) who was the youngest member of the Celtic music group named Celtic Woman, and who was a singer from Ireland.
Pinky Agnew (born in 1955) who was an author, an actor, and a social commentator from the country of New Zealand.
Roy Ewing Agnew (1893-1944) who was a pianist and a composer from the country of Australia.
Sir James Wilson Agnew (1815-1901) who was the Premier of Tasmania from Ireland.
Agnew Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Agnew blazon are the cinquefoil, saltire, chevron and eagle. The two main tinctures (colors) are argent and gules.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur . The cinquefoil is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It is shown as five-petalled flower, each petal quite rounded but with a distinct tip. It is sometimes pierced with a hole in the centre and usually appears on its own, without any leaves. It has no fixed colour but can appear in any of the available heraldic tinctures.
The saltire is one the major ordinaries, large charges that occupy the whole of the field . Arguably one of the best uses of this device is that of the St. Andrews Cross, a white saltire on a blue background found on the Scottish flag. The saltire is obviously closely related to the Cross, and Wade in his work on Heraldic Symbology suggests additionally that it alludes to “Resolution”, whilst Guillim, an even more ancient writer, somewhat fancifully argues that it is awarded to those who have succesfully scaled the walls of towns!
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield , or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” , possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.