This very interesting name is of Norman French and Breton origin and was originally found in the spellings of Chenneras or (possible) - de Chenoise. The name is job descriptive and originally meant a Cultivator of Hemp from the French "Chereve". The name, in some ways, was more popular in Italy where it was recorded as Canevaro, Canevar, Cinavas, being apparently a transposed variant from the Italian. It has also been suggested that a source of origin could be from the French 'Cheru', a nickname for a white haired person. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jean Chennevas. which was dated C. 1680, Normandy, France. during the reign of King Louis XIV, The Sun King, 1643 - 1715. 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.