The growing ‘tree’ is actually growing on the fence of the house in Lewes that the Kenwards used to inhabit, so it is doubly appropriate in that it’s a real Kenward tree and it is also still growing - my Kenward line doesn’t go back very far though there are some tantalising possibilities.
The problem is there are a lot of Kenwards in Sussex - it appears to be their home base. I am sure the different families are all connected somehow, but I haven’t quite worked out the connections as yet, so am not quite sure which line to follow.
There are two versions here - one lowly and one rather more important. The lowly one is a saxon occupation name - a cow keeper - kine ward. Sounds pretty right to me. But then I found this: “derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name Cyneweard. The name became "keneward" in Middle English, and is composed of the elements "cyne-", meaning "royal", with either "heard" meaning "hardy, brave, strong", or "weard", meaning "guardian, protector". The guardian/protector bit is the same anyway.
In 1891 they were indeed concentrated in Sussex - by far the most dense population of Kenwards, with Kent (just next door) the next. After that they are more evenly spread around the country. Even London doesn’t have a huge number of them.