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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the English Jennings family come from? What is the English Jennings family crest and coat of arms? When did the Jennings family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Jennings family history?

The history of the name Jennings began when it was derived from The name Jennings is derived from the personal name John, or perhaps more accurately from several diminutions of the name John, such as Jan, Jon, or Jen. Patronymic surnames belong to the larger category of surnames, known as hereditary surnames, and they arose out of the vernacular and religious given name traditions. In the religious naming tradition, which was developed later than the vernacular tradition, surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint. John, of course, is derived from John the Baptist, who was born in order to announce Christ's coming.

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There are many spelling variations of Breton surnames, because the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find references to one individual with many different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Jennings, Jenings, Jennins, Jennyns, Jennens, Jennynge, Jennynges, Jenyns and many more.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jennings research. Another 265 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1332, 1508, 1450, 1523, 1499, 1509, 1567, 1591, 1570, 1660, 1619, 1668, 1642, 1668, 1660, 1717, 1710, 1717, 1636, 1693, 1663, 1740, 1745 and are included under the topic Early Jennings History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 347 words(25 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jennings Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Jennings family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 121 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Jennings arrived in North America very early:

Jennings Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Mary Jennings settled in Maryland 1633
  • Mary Jennings, who landed in Maryland in 1633
  • Nicholas Jennings, aged 22, landed in New England in 1634
  • Jon Jennings, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Richard Jennings, aged 35, landed in Bermuda in 1635


Jennings Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • William Jennings, who landed in Leeward Islands in 1703-1704

Jennings Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • George Jennings, who landed in New York in 1826
  • Charles Jennings, who arrived in New York in 1835
  • Joseph Jennings, who landed in New York in 1835
  • Edward Jennings, who landed in New York in 1838
  • Catherine Jennings, aged 19, landed in New York, NY in 1848


Jennings Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Christian Jennings, who landed in Pike County, Ind in 1900

Jennings Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Benjamin Jennings, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. Thomas Jennings U.E. (b. 1736) born in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Grand Lake, Queens County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1839

Jennings Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Francis Jennings, aged 34, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the barque "New Brunswick" from Liverpool
  • Sarah Jennings, aged 30, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the barque "New Brunswick" from Liverpool

Jennings Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Jonathan Jennings, English convict from Durham, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James William Jennings arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
  • Martha Jennings arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
  • John Jennings arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Poictiers" in 1848
  • William Jennings arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Santipore" in 1848


Jennings Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Charles Jennings, aged 32, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Jennings, aged 22, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • Francis Jennings, aged 1, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • John Jennings, aged 1 month, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • William Jennings, aged 31, a labourer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842


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  • J. B. Jennings (b. 1974), American politician, Member of the Maryland Senate (2011-)
  • Hugh Ambrose Jennings (1869-1928), American Major League Baseball player and manager, posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945
  • Gregory Jennings Jr. (b. 1983), American NFL football wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings
  • Francis "Fritz" Jennings (1918-2000), American historian
  • Christine Jennings (b. 1945), American banker, businessperson and politician, Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative for Florida (2008)
  • Brian Lewis Jennings (b. 1976), American NFL football long snapper and tight end for the San Francisco 49ers (2000-2012)
  • Brandon Jennings (b. 1989), American professional NBA basketball player
  • Adam Jennings (b. 1982), American NFL football wide receiver
  • David Tuthill Jennings (1952-2013), American NFL football punter who played from 1974 through 1987
  • Jason Ryan Jennings (b. 1978), American Major League Baseball pitcher

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  • A Family History by Mildred King Whitten.
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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Jennings Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Jennings Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 August 2015 at 11:49.

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