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2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

My one name study started, like many others, with my own personal research into my maternal grandmother's ancestry. She was a SENNETT, born in Normanton, West Yorkshire. My mother remembered visiting her relatives in Normanton as a child, and being aware of the large numbers of relatives in Normanton. I quickly became aware that most of the SENNETTs in Yorkshire appeared to be related and started collecting all references to the surname there. As well as the Yorkshire SENNETTs, I noticed that several other areas of England also had significant numbers of people with the same surname, and I wondered if they would be able to be linked at some point. It also interested me that the family in Yorkshire were miners who had come from Avoca in Co Wicklow, Ireland

In 2011 I registered the SENNETT one name study and began to more formally collect up further references and reconstruct families.

Variant names

The registered surname for this one name study is SENNETT. There are many different spellings on historical records including Senett, Sennett, Sinnatt, Sinnott, Sinnett, Synnot - often within the same family. Where family lines can be traced back to Ireland the spelling is usually Sinnott or Synnott. Having made good progress on my original aim of collecting references to Sennett and Sennitt I am now expanding the study to include SINNOTT, SINNETT and SYNNOTT, and another spellings in the form S-NN-T.

Name origin


(This section is currently being updated)

Historical occurrences of the name

Col David Sinnott - Governer of Wexford (c1649); 'The Synnot Children, 1781' painted by Joseph Wright of Derby. These were Maria, Marcus and Walter, children of Sir Walter Synnot (1742-1821) and his wife Jane of Ballymoyer, Co Armagh;

Mack Sennett (silent movie producer) - originally born Michael Sinnott in 1880 in Canada (of Irish ancestry);

Lieutenant John Sinnott, author of 'A Military Catechism' (Portsmouth 1841);

Colonel Edward Stockley Sinnott (1868-1969), civil engineer;

Maude Arncliffe Sennett (1862-1936) - suffragette and anti-vivisection campaigner;

Sir Richard Sennett (1852-1947) - sheriff of the City of London 1923-34;

Hilary Nicholas Hugh Synnott, CMG (b1945) - diplomat;

brothers Frederick (1830-66) and Alfred Percy Sinnett (1840-1921) who were both journalists; Frederick also carried out extensive surveys of the northern Flinders Ranges, and Sinnett Peak is named after him;

The town of Sennett, New York was named after Daniel Sennett, a prominent citizen and circuit judge.

Name frequency

(please see for up to date data).

Frequency of the SENNETT surname from the above website was about 8 per million people in 1881 in the UK, and about 11 per million in the UK now. In the US, current frequency is about 7 per million, with about 3 per million in Australia. In spite of the Irish origins of most of these, there are very few people in Ireland using this spelling.

Frequency of the SINNOTT/SINNETT surnames appears to be slightly higher than SENNETT, and SYNNOTT slightly lower.

Distribution of the name

The main countries this surname group is associated with are England, Wales, Ireland and North America (United States and Canada).   There are also Irish and English emigrant populations in South America, Australia and other countries. There are currently just under 500 people with the Sennett surname in the UK and just over 1800 in the US. There are smaller numbers in many other countries, most of whom have English or Irish origins. In Canada, it appears that most of the Irish Sinnott or Synnott immigrants retained those spellings rather than it being changed to Sennett (as in the UK or US). Some of the american Sennett lines appear to have begun with germanic migrants who may have anglicised their original name to Sennett.  While current numbers are relatively small in Ireland, a very large number of north american S-nn-t families claim Irish descent, with the dominant county of origin being Co Wexford.


Data held currently includes

  • - UK birth, marriage, and death index data from 1837 to close to the present;
  • - UK census data from 1841 to 1911
  • - a large amount of data from the parish records that are now available online

More than half of this information has been collated as reconstructed extended family trees, (with one group having in excess of 500 linked people, not including spouses or female line descendants).

  • - Canadian census and other information (mostly Sinnott and Synnotts of Irish Origin) with many in the Prince Edward Island, Quebec and other areas linked into extended family trees
  • - US Census records 1850-1940 (some gaps). Linking of families is progressing well.
  • - so far only a few in Australia or other countries (and all connected to english families)
  • - work is progressing well on collecting and collating major datasets for the variants SINNOTT, SINNETT and SYNNOTT.  With the online recent release of Irish Catholic Parish Records, work is now progressing well in reconstructing Irish families.


The newly registered DNA project for the SENNETT surname is going to prove a very useful way of seeing if any of the main family lines, particularly those with Irish origins, do connect further back. I'd be keen to hear from anyone interested more in their own Sennett origins and connections, and who would like to be tested or help manage a Sennett/Sinnott/Synnott DNA study. You can find the Sennett (and Sennitt/Sinnott) DNA study at familytreeDNA
While it is too early to draw conclusions, it would appear (from the small sample so far) that families of Co Wexford Sinnott origins may share a Y-DNA E3b haplotype, which is relatively uncommon in Ireland.