This uncommon surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from the hamlet of Adney south west of Newport in Shropshire. Recorded as "Eduney" in the Book of Fees for Shropshire, dated 1212; as "Edeweny" in the 1295 Charter Rolls, and as "Addeney" in the 1326 Subsidy Rolls, the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century female given name "Eadwynn", composed of the elements "ead", prosperity, with "wine", friend, or "wyn", joy, and the Olde English "eg", cognate with the Old Scandinavian "ey", island, strip of land between streams. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. On August 10th 1582, Jane Adeney was christened at Childs Ercall, Shropshire, and in 1590, Andrew Adney, of Shropshire, was entered in the Oxford University Register. Variations on the spelling of the surname include: Adney, Adeney, Aidney and Adnie. A Coat of Arms granted to the Adney family depicts a silver fesse dancettee between three cherubs' heads, the Crest being an eagle's head holding in the beak an acorn, slipped and leaved proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Adeney, which was dated April 16th 1581, a christening witness at Moreton Corbet, Shropshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.