This rare and interesting name is of medieval English origin and is a topographical surname for someone who lived by a yew tree. The derivation is from a misdivision of the Middle English phrase 'atten ew', which means at the yew, thus '(att)enew', a variant spelling of ennew. There are several names which have evolved from this type of misdivision, for example, Nash ('atten ash') and Noake ('atten oke'). Topographical names are some of the earliest created, as topographical features, whether natural or manmade, provided obvious and convenient means of identification. Among the recordings in London are the marriages of Marian Enewe and John Thrall on January 10th 1596 at St. Lawrence Putney, and Henry Joseph Ennew and Julia Bastow on October 20th 1823 at Christchurch, Spitalfields, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John atte Newe, which was dated 1327, Subsidy Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 111, 'The Father of the Navy', 1327 - 1377. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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