Penny Family History
Penny Name Meaning
English:: from Middle English peni peny ‘penny’ (Old English pening penig) applied as a nickname possibly for a person of some substance or for a tenant who paid a rent of one penny. This was the common ancient Germanic unit of value when money was still an unusual phenomenon. It was the only unit of coinage in England until the early 14th century when the groat and the gold noble were introduced and was a silver coin of considerable value. There is some evidence that the word was used in Old English times as a byname. This surname is also found in Ireland. Compare Halfpenny Farthing Grote and Shilling . alternatively a variant of Penning or Penn .
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press