Origin of the Name Agnew
The ancient history of the name Agnew
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Meaning 'from Agneaux', Agnew is a locational name from the Barony of d'Agneaux in the Bocages of Normandy. A Marquis d'Agneaux still owns portions of the ancestral fiefs, and the Chateau d'Agneaux still overlooks the valley of the Vire. This name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to Ireland , Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in the above countries. Examples of such are a family of the name from Locknaw, Scotland , who were appointed hereditary sheriffs of Galloway by King David II, and they gradually became great land owners in the province, holding many estates. A distinguished person of the name was Sir James Willson Agnew M. D. , 1815-1901, who was Premier of Tasmania. In Ireland Agnew is often of immigrant origin, especially in Ulster . It is also derived from the native Gaelic O'Gnimh sept who were allied to the O'Neills. In Cork the O'Gnimha sept adopted Agnew as the anglicized form of their native name, as well as O'Gnew.
The Agnew coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Agnew descendants.