Kenyon is a surname of English origin. It is said to be Celtic for "Blonde", among other meanings it also means "The White Haired Norseman", the origins of the name are fairly well known. The name first appears in English heraldry in the late thirteenth century when Jordan de Kenyon first took the name of the small village he inherited from his father. The name appears in court records as early as 1300, but is believed to have been in use as early as 1256. Kenyon is located west of Manchester and is within the Borough of Warrington, until recently in Cheshire. The location of Kenyon Hall is near the parish of Winwick and is currently used as a vegetable farm.
According to family documents that once belonged to Lord Kenyon, Baron of Gedington, the Kenyon name is one of the oldest in England. Descendents of the family are believed to come from Saxon invaders of the mid-fifth century who were rewarded with land for assisting in the Saxon invasion of what is now Lancashire.
The first known Kenyon in America was "old John" Kenyon who is believed to have arrived in Rhode Island in 1684. He most likely arrived in the new world with his brother James.
There are many wives tales regarding the meaning of the name. Some say it is Welsh for "rabbit" among other theories. The name as it is used by the family, however, is derived from a place.