Agnew Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Agnew Origin:


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.

United States:

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

Notable People:

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.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Lochnaw, co. Wigton, Bart.). Motto—Consilio, non impetu. Ar. a chev. between two cinquefoils in chief gu. and a saltier couped in base az. Crest—An eagle issuant and reguard. ppr. Supporters— Two heraldic tigers ppr. collared and chained or.
2) (Dalragle, co. Wigton). Motto—Consilio non impetu. As Lochnaw within a bordure engr. gu. Crest—An eagle reguard. ppr.
3) (Vans – Agnew, of Barnbarroch, co. Wigton, as representative of Vans of Barnbarroch, and Agnew of Sheuchan, a scion of Lochnaw). Mottos—Be faithful, for Vans; Consilio non impetu, for Agnew. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a bend gu.; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a chev. ensigned with a cross crosslet fitchee sa. betw. in chief two cinquefoils gu. and in base a saltire couped az. Crests—1st, a lion ramp. holding in the dexter paw a pair of balances ppr.; 2nd, an eagle issuant and reguard. ppr.
4) (Castlewige, co. Wigton). As Lochnaw within a bordure ar. charged with fleurs-de-lis gu.

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