Gennay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Gennay is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the personal name John. The feminine name Jenny was initially a masculine form and modification of the personal name Jenin.The Norman name Gennay descended from Guisnes near Calais in Normandy. The family name Gennay was brought to England after the Norman Conquest, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats.
Early Origins of the Gennay family
The surname Gennay was first found in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Bredfield in that shire where they were granted land by Duke William for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Conjecturally, they are descended from Peter who held his lands from Hervey de Bourges, tenant in chief. The village was rated in the Domesday Book Survey as a village, a Church and 3 oxen or teamlands. There is also a moated site which was known as Bradfield Castle, although the village is Bredfield. The name Jenney was descended from Guisnes near Calais in Normandy. 
The Hundredorum Rolls had only entry for the family, that of Alan filius Jene in Lincolnshire and the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had the following in a variety of early spellings: Ricardus Gene; Thomas Genne; and Agnes Gine. All held land there at that time. 
Early History of the Gennay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gennay research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1563, 1330, 1460, 1477, 1623, 1636, 1644, 1565, 1583 and 1565 are included under the topic Early Gennay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gennay Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Gennay family name include Jenney, Jennie, Jenny, Genny, Gennie, Gynney and others.
Early Notables of the Gennay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edward Jenney of Bredfield House; Sir William Jenny, one of the Judges of the King's Bench in 1477 and John Jenney, early American settler from Leyden in 1623 aboard the Little James. He built the original Jenney Grist Mill in Plymouth Colony in 1636 and was run by him until his death in 1644.
Thomas Jenye (fl. 1565-1583), was a rebel and poet, "whose name appears also as Jeny, Jenny, Jenninges, Genys, Genynges, seems to have been...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gennay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gennay family
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Gennay family to immigrate North America: John Jenney, his wife Sarah, their daughter Abigail, and son Samuel Jenney, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623, aboard the "Little James".
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: Deus Mihi Providebit
Motto Translation: God will provide for me.
- Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)