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Penny Family HistoryThis interesting surname was originally a byname for a person of wealth. A penny in Anglo-Saxon and later England, when coins were few, had great purchasing power, and could well be applied to people of substance. The word penny derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "peni(n)g", penny, and is cognate with the Old High German "pfenning" and the Old Norse "penningr". As a surname Penny had clearly emerged by the beginning of the 13th Century (see below), and further early recordings include, Gileburtus Penning, mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, dated 1204, and in the records of the Shropshire Assize Court Rolls of 1221, a William Peny comes to notice...
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