Mystery Monday: Stenent

Every Monday we will post an entry that hasn’t yet been published with a view towards harnessing the collective onomastic power of the internet. If you have any thoughts about the name’s origin, other variants it might be related to, other examples of its use, etc., please share them in the comments! If you wish to browse other Mystery Monday names, there is an index.

Sometimes it feels like obscure 16th C English names are the most obscure of all, their obscurity magnified by our familiarity with the language and context in which they occur. Such a name is today’s mystery name:


Just, what, uh, hmm? Is it a scribal error? An editorial error? A weird made-up name? A transferred surname? (would be very odd, that). We have zero idea, which makes this a perfect mystery to include in our list. If you have any thoughts, please share in the comments! We’d love to know.


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

3 responses to “Mystery Monday: Stenent

  1. The original register can be seen here
    Despite Phillimore’s question mark it is clearly written as Stenent.

    Parallel names:
    Stenyn (female) was married 1571 Canterbury, Kent

    There are several male Steanan/Steenen but it would need to be checked to be sure they are not misreadings of Steven, e.g. 1618 Tilmanstone, Kent; 1666 Mitlon Abbot, Devon

    However a male Steenan 1655 Wells next the Sea, Norfolk is genuine

    Stenyn (no gender stated) christened 1555 St Saviour Southwark, Surrey (verified on imsge on Ancestry)

    Steenan (male) 1636 Winterbourne Gunner, Wiltshire (imsge on Ancestry)

    Seems quite widespread but rare, male and female. A transferred surname thus seems unlikely, as does a local saint.

  2. Jörg Knappen

    My gut feeling wants to read this name as Steven. Depending on the writing style or font in a printed source, the letters n and v are more or less confoundable, and a final hook up can be misread as a letter t as well.

  3. Sebastiane

    Is it possibly from the the Cornish word “sten” (tin).

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