The surname of YOUENN was derived from the old word 'wrenne'. It was of the nickname group of surnames, probably given to the original bearer of the name, owing to his small size. The name is also spelt WREN, VREN, O'RINN, O'RINNE, RYNN and WRYNN. The name was brought to Cornwall from France by early settlers. Cornish naming practices are unfortunately poorly documented for the Middle Ages, but present day Cornish surnames, somewhat surprisingly, do not follow the predominantly patronymic pattern of the other Celtic languages, including Welsh. This may be attributed to the greater influence of the English bureaucracy and English naming practices in Cornwall than in Wales at the time when surnames came into use. The majority of Cornish names are habitation names and others are derived from medieval given names. Early records of the name mention Alice Wrenn who was recorded in the year 1273 in County Cambridge. Wulfy Wrenne was documented in Norfolk in the year 1300. Adam Wrenne of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Wrenn and Agnis Mercye, were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1630. A notable member of the name was Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) the English architect, born in Wiltshire. He was the son of Dr. Christopher Wren, dean of Windsor. He was educated at Westminster and Oxford, and distinguished himself in mathematics and physics. In 1657 he became professor of astronomy at Gresham College in London. In 1663 he was engaged by the dean and chapter at St. Paul's to make a survey of the Cathedral with a view to repairs. The Great Fire of London (1666) opened a wide field for his genius. He drew designs for the whole city. In 1669 he was appointed surveyor-general and was chosen architect for St. Paul's (1675-1710) and for more than 50 churches in place of those destroyed by fire. In 1648 he was appointed controller of the works at Windsor Castle, and in 1698 surveyor-general of Westminster Abbey. There were many other works by him including Hampton Court, Buckingham House, and the Greenwich Observatory.
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