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About the study
The surname Essenhigh has always been high in my awareness as it is a family name, the origins of which were often debated in my childhood. Research into my family genealogy over many years has yielded much information on Essenhigh ancestors and descendants. Thus reaching a point where there is enough data to give firm foundations to a One-Name Study, in its more recent interpretation, as suggested in the Guild guidelines.
Essinghigh is the only variant of Essenhigh, although a number of deviants of the surname appear in records. Essinghigh is first recorded in the first half of the twentieth century and numbers currently bearing this variant are tiny.
Essenhigh as a surname first appears in the mid eighteenth century in Canterbury, Kent. It is an Anglicization of a continental surname, probably from the Low Countries/Netherlands (a cautious interpretation given the various changes in geographic extent and naming of these areas since the eighteenth century).The name comes from one individual meaning that all people bearing the name are related in some way.
History of the name
In the past and currently there are number of significant people with the name Essenhigh. Charles Essenhigh Corke (1852-1922), was a well known artist and photographer, his son Henry Essenhigh Corke (1883-1919) was also a renowned photographer, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), he was also a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Reginald Clare Essenhigh (1890-1955) was Judge and an MP, his granddaughter Inka Essenhigh is a well known American artist. David Ewart Essenhigh is an English county cricketer who played for Wiltshire and Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh GCB DL, First Sea Lord 2001-2002 and currently Deputy Lieutenant for Devon.
The name frequency is very rare, with about 40 people bearing the name Essenhigh recorded in the 1881 United Kingdom (UK) census, by 2002 there were less than 80 in the UK, including variants.
Distribution of the name
By the end of the nineteenth century most people bearing the name were still situated in Kent, with very small clusters emerging in Cornwall, Lancashire and London (Middlesex and Surrey). Today both variants occur in the UK and Essenhigh occurs in Australia, South Africa, and the United States of America (USA).
This is a future possibility.