The Veness Family History

The Keen Family Origins The name Keen is of Anglo-Saxon origin, coming from OE cene (ME kene) = brave, bold, fierce; wise (which gave our adjective, “keen”). It came into use as a name in two ways: [1] as a shortening of such OE names as Cenwine (e.g., Ricardus filius Kene, 1188, Devonshire); [2] use as an attribute (e.g., Richard le Kene, 1297, Oxfordshire). The earliest record of our family of Keens is from Stow on the Wold in the Cotswold Hills of Gloucestershire. The town occupies a hilltop site between the rivers Evenlode and Dikler. in earlier times this site was lightly wooded with beech, ash, and whitebeam, with an understorey of holly, hawthorn, bramble and bracken; but these woods (the Wold) are now long gone. Today, Stow is a town of grey limestone buildings lying amid fields of barley, with little to stop the penetrating winds that sweep across its great hill. “Stow on the Wold, where the winds blow cold,” as the local people say. Above: The Almshouse, Chipping Campden. Chipping Campden is one of the jewels of the Cotswolds, with many beautiful stone buildings, mellowed with age; notably the pillared Market Hall and 17th century almshouse, built by the first Viscount Campden. The town owes its existence to several “trackways” that cross over the Cotswolds. The oldest was the track running east-west, coming from Naunton and going on to Adlestrop. it was a major branch of the pre-historic Cotswold Ridgeway. The other main branch of it passed further north, crossing the ridge at Broadway Hill (between Broadway and Chipping Campden). Together they formed part of the major Palaeolithic and Iron Age route across England from Bristol Avon to the Humber. 10 | P a g e