Show ContentsJan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jan surname is a patronymic name created from the personal name Jan, which was a Middle English variant of the name John, or as "son of Jan." [1]

Early Origins of the Jan family

The surname Jan was first found in Worcestershire, where they held a family seat from very early times. They were also found early in Cornwall, where a record in the Ministers' Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall shows a Simon Ianes in 1297. A John Janne was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Cornwall in 1327, and a William Jan was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset in that same year. [2]

Kirby's Quest listed Robert Janes and William Janes, both in Somerset temp. 1 Edward III. [3]

Jane or Johanna (d. 1445), Queen of Scotland, "was the daughter of John Beaufort, earl of Somerset. Her mother was Margaret, daughter of Thomas Holland, second earl of Kent [q. v.], and niece of Richard II, who became after her first husband's death Duchess of Clarence. James I, King of Scotland, when a prisoner at Windsor, saw her walking in the garden of the castle, fell in love at first sight, and wrote the story of his love in the ‘Kingis Quair.’ The marriage, which suited the English rulers, and was made one of the conditions of his release, took place at St. Mary Overy Church in Southwark on 12 Feb. 1424. " [4]

Early History of the Jan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jan research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1438, 1499, 1716, 1275, 1510, 1620, 1500, 1480, 1499, 1500, 1449, 1600, 1660, 1621, 1625, 1625, 1640, 1643, 1611, 1662, 1611, 1660, 1645, 1707 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Jan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jan 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 Janes, Jans, J'Anes, Jeanne, Jeynes, Jayne, Jane and many more.

Early Notables of the Jan family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Jane (Jan) (died 1500), English clergyman, Archdeacon of Essex (1480), Bishop of Norwich (1499-1500.) He was born at Milton Abbas, Dorsetshire, and educated at Winchester School, where he became a scholar in 1449. [4] Joseph Jane (fl. 1600-1660), controversialist, was sprung of an old family which had long been influential in Liskeard, Cornwall. His father was mayor there in 1621, and in 1625 Jane represented the borough in parliament. In 1625 he was himself mayor of Liskeard, and...
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jan World Ranking

In the United States, the name Jan is the 18,166th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5] However, in France, the name Jan is ranked the 627th most popular surname with an estimated 7,530 people with that name. [6] And in New Zealand, the name Jan is the 570th popular surname with an estimated 1,245 people with that name. [7]

United States Jan 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 Jan or a variant listed above were:

Jan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Jansson Jan, who landed in Colorado in 1881 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Jan (post 1700) +

  • Jacques Félix Jan de La Hamelinaye, Count de La Hamelinaye, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [9]
  • Roman Jan Lentner (1937-2023), Polish footballer who competed in the 1960 Summer Olympics
  • Grzegorz Jan Matuszak (1941-2022), Polish politician, Member of the Democratic Left Alliance, he served in the Senate of Poland from 2001 to 2005
  • Gerrit Jan Schutte (1939-2022), Dutch politician and teacher, member of the defunct Reformed Political League (GPV), Leader of the Reformed Political League (1981-2001)
  • Ryszard Jan Szurkowski (1946-2021), Polish three-time gold and silver medalist road bicycle racer, a legend of the sport in Poland
  • Tomáš Jan Bata CC (1914-2008), also known as Tomas Bata Jr. and Toma Bata, a Czech-born, Canadian founder of Bata Shoe Company, nicknamed "Shoemaker to the World"
  • Cees Jan Winkel (1962-1980), Dutch freestyle swimmer at the 1980 Summer Olympics
  • Robert Jan Mrazek (b. 1945), American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1980, 1988; U.S. Representative from New York 3rd District, 1983-93 [10]
  • Nancy Jan Smotherman (b. 1953), birth name of Nancy Jan Davis, former American astronaut with over 673 hours in space, awarded the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 1998, NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1995 and 2002, and the NASA Space Flight Medal in 1992, 1994, and 1997
  • Antonius Jan Glazemaker (1931-2018), Dutch Old Catholic prelate, Archbishop of Utrecht (1982–2000)

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. "Most Common Last Names in New Zealand." Forebears,
  8. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, March 13) Jacques Jan. Retrieved from
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 27) . Retrieved from on Facebook