Recorded in a very wide range of spellings including Senecall, Seneschall, Senecaut, Senecaux, Senechault, and the English dialectals Seneogles and Zeongles, this is a surname of pre 8th century Anglo-Saxon and French origins, but is ultimately Germanic. It is an occupational surname of status, which originally described an official called a 'seneschal'. This person was responsible for adminstrating the domestic arrangements in a royal or noble household. Perhaps not surprisingly the Seneschal was an extremely powerful person, since he was often also entrusted with the administration of justice within the (usually) very large household. The term was possibly used in England and Scotland before the Conquest of 1066, but in anycase was certainly used by the Normans thereafter. It derives originally from the Roman (Latin) "senior", meaning an Elder or later Alderman, and a term of respect, plus "scalc", a servant. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from the surviving charters and registers of Greater London include: Thomas Senycle in the register of citizens in 1395, Sarah Seneskell at St Botolphs Bishopgate in 1693, Thomas Zenogles at the church of St Lawrence Jewry on April 1st 1786, and John Senogles at St Pancras Old Church, on February 27th 1829. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Alan le Senescall, in the Assize Rolls of the county of Staffordshire in 1194. This was during the reign of King Richard Ist known as 'Coeur de Lyon', 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • seneschal — SENESCHAL. s. m. Officier qui dans un certain ressort est chef de la justice, & qui est aussi chef de la noblesse, quand elle est convoquée pour l arriereban. La pluspart ne rendent plus la justice que par des Lieutenans de robe longue. Le… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Seneschal — Sen es*chal, n. [OF. seneschal, LL. seniscalcus, of Teutonic origin; cf. Goth. sineigs old, skalks, OHG. scalch, AS. scealc. Cf. {Senior}, {Marshal}.] An officer in the houses of princes and dignitaries, in the Middle Ages, who had the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • seneschal — late 14c., from O.Fr. seneschal, from Frankish Latin siniscalcus, from P.Gmc. *sini skalk senior servant; first element cognate with L. senex old (see SENILE (Cf. senile)); second element from P.Gmc. *skalkoz servant (Cf. Goth. skalks, O.H.G.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Seneschal — Variante de Sénéchal (voir ce nom) portée dans le Nord Pas de Calais, où on trouve aussi les formes Seneschael et Senesael. Avec le même sens, mais dans le Sud : Senescail, Senescal (11, 81, 34), Senescau, Senescat (65, 33) …   Noms de famille

  • seneschal — [sen′ə shəl] n. [OFr < Frank siniskalk, oldest servant < * sini, old (for IE base see SENATE) + skalk, servant (for IE base see MARSHAL)] a steward or major domo in the household of a medieval noble …   English World dictionary

  • Seneschal — A seneschal was an officer in the houses of important nobles in the Middle Ages. In the French administrative system of the Middle Ages, the sénéchal was also a royal officer in charge of justice and control of the administration in southern… …   Wikipedia

  • seneschal — /sen euh sheuhl/, n. an officer having full charge of domestic arrangements, ceremonies, the administration of justice, etc., in the household of a medieval prince or dignitary; steward. [1350 1400; ME < MF < Frankish; cf. ML seniscalcus senior… …   Universalium

  • Seneschal — Steward or major domo of a great estate; the official responsible for the estate s daily functioning, including sometimes responsibility for justice within the household. An AS seneschal was known as a *discthegn, i.e. a dish thegn. [< Germ.… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • Seneschal — Lord’s representative in the administration of an estate, presiding at manorial courts, auditing accounts, conduct inquests, and the like. Within the SCA, the seneschal is the chief administrative officer for a shire or college. In a barony or… …   Medieval glossary

  • Seneschal of Anjou — A seneschal ( siniscallus , Vulgar or old Frankish Latin, also dapifer ) was an officer of an aristocratic household assigned to manage the domestic affairs of the lord. During the course of the twelfth century, the seneschalship also became an… …   Wikipedia

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