St.jean History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England of 1066 added many new elements to the already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The St.jean name is derived from the saint bearing the ancient given name John. It is possible that individual cases may derive from the original bearer's residence in one of several places called St. Jean in Normandy that take their names from the same source. St.jean is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the St.jean family

The surname St.jean was first found in Oxfordshire where the family claim descent "from the great Domesday Baron Adam de Port, [who] took the name St John in the XII century on his marriage with the heiress of the powerful Norman family, so called." [1]

John de Saint-John (died 1302), was "Lieutenant of Aquitaine, the son of Robert de Saint-John and his wife Agnes, daughter of William de Cantelupe. His grandfather, William de Saint-John, was the son of Adam de Port. Robert de Saint-John died in 1267, whereupon John received livery of his lands. John also succeeded his father as Ggovernor of Porchester Castle." [2]

Stanton St. John in the union of Headington in Oxfordshire was home to the family. "This place takes the adjunct to its name from the family of St. John, who held the manor in the reign of Edward III." [3]

Another branch of the family was found at Warnford in Southampton. "The manor, in the reign of William I., belonged to Hugh de Port, whose descendant, William, assumed the name of his maternal grandmother, St. John: the old manor-house, near the church, is now a ruin called King John's, by corruption of the family name." [3]

In the 17th century, "the family of St. John had a venerable mansion [in Battersea, Surrey], which was the favourite resort of Pope, who, when visiting his friend Lord Bolingbroke, usually selected as his study, in which he is said to have composed some of his celebrated works, a parlour wainscoted with cedar, overlooking the Thames." [3]

Another branch of the family was found at Liddiard-Tregooze in Wiltshire. "This place has from the time of the Conquest been the property of the family of St. John, whose mansion and park are near the church." [3]

Early History of the St.jean family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our St.jean research. Another 168 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1096, 1085, 1582, 1596, 1540, 1618, 1598, 1673, 1640, 1653, 1634, 1711, 1663, 1685, 1678, 1751, 1749, 1714, 1559, 1630, 1589, 1577 and 1583 are included under the topic Early St.jean History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

St.jean Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled St. John, St. Jean, Singen and others.

Early Notables of the St.jean family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Oliver St John of Bletsoe, 1st Baron St John of Bletso (died 1582), an English peer, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire; John St John, 2nd Baron St John of Bletso (d. 1596); Oliver St John, 3rd Baron St John of Bletso (c. 1540-1618); Sir Oliver St John (c. 1598-1673), an English judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1653, supporter of the Parliamentary cause in the English...
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early St.jean Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the St.jean family to Ireland

Some of the St.jean family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 136 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States St.jean migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name St.jean or a variant listed above were:

St.jean Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter St. Jean who settled in Philadelphia in 1848
St.jean Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Sister St Jean, aged 23, who landed in America from England, in 1903
  • Gabriel St Jean, aged 27, who landed in America from Murinais, in 1905
  • Edward C. St Jean, aged 21, who immigrated to the United States, in 1920
  • Joseph St Jean, aged 21, who immigrated to America, in 1924

Canada St.jean migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

St.jean Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Charles St Jean, aged 44, who immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1921

Contemporary Notables of the name St.jean (post 1700) +

  • Leonard Wayne St. Jean (b. 1941), former college and professional American AFL football guard
  • Garry St. Jean (b. 1950), American former professional basketball coach and executive
  • Pierre St.-Jean (1943-1976), Canadian weightlifter who competed at the 1976 Summer Olympics
  • Pierre St-Jean (1833-1900), Canadian doctor and politician

The St.jean Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Data fata secutus
Motto Translation: Following my destiny.

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook
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