Jane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jane 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 Jane family

The surname Jane 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 Jane family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jane 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 Jane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jane Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Janes, Jans, J'Anes, Jeanne, Jeynes, Jayne, Jane and many more.

Early Notables of the Jane 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 Jane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Jane migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Jane or a variant listed above:

Jane Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Martha Jane, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [5]
Jane Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ann Jane, aged 22, who arrived in Connecticut in 1812 [5]
  • Anthony Jane, who landed in New York, NY in 1839 [5]
  • H Jane, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]

Canada Jane migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Jane Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ellen Jane, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Charity" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • Mr. Jane, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Highlander" in 1834
Jane Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Alfred S. Jane, (b. 1851), aged 52, Cornish farmer from Cardinham, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 2nd August 1903 en route to Mitchell, Ontario, Canada [6]

Australia Jane migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Jane Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Miss Esther Jane, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Bellona" in July 1792, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
Jane Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Jane, (b. 1822), aged 27, Cornish labourer from St. Enoder, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Lysander" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 13th January 1849 [8]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Jane, (b. 1824), aged 25, Cornish settler from Tregony, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Lysander" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 13th January 1849 [8]
  • Mr. S. H. Jane, (b. 1816), aged 33, Cornish carpenter from Helston, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Osprey" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 22nd March 1849 [8]
  • Mrs. Jane Jane, (b. 1817), aged 32, Cornish settler from Helston, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Osprey" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 22nd March 1849 [8]
  • Miss Elizabeth Jane, (b. 1839), aged 10, Cornish settler from Helston, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Osprey" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 22nd March 1849 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Jane migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Jane Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William J. Jane, (b. 1838), aged 26, British carpenter travelling aboard the ship "Amoor" arriving in Lyttleton, South Island, New Zealand on 1st July 1864 [9]
  • Mr. Alfred Jane, (b. 1854), aged 20, Cornish farm labourer departing on 22nd May 1874 aboard the ship "St Lawrence" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 29th August 1874 [10]
  • Miss Mary Jane, (b. 1850), aged 24, Cornish settler departing on 22nd May 1874 aboard the ship "St Lawrence" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 29th August 1874 [10]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Jane, (b. 1843), aged 31, Cornish settler departing on 28th July 1874 aboard the ship "Helen Denny" going to Hawkes Bay, New Zealand arriving in port on 22nd October 1874 [11]
  • Miss Elizabeth Jane, (b. 1868), aged 6, Cornish settler departing on 28th July 1874 aboard the ship "Helen Denny" going to Hawkes Bay, New Zealand arriving in port on 22nd October 1874 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Jane (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Jane (b. 1969), born Thomas Elliott III, an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer
  • John A. Jane Sr. (1931-2015), American neurosurgeon, and Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Virginia
  • John Fredrick Thomas Jane (1865-1916), English founding editor of reference books on warships and aircraft, eponym of what would later become known as Jane’s Information Group
  • Cory Steven Jane (b. 1983), New Zealand international rugby union player of Maori descent
  • Sarah Jane Vowell (b. 1969), American historian, author, journalist, essayist, social commentator and actress from Muskogee, Oklahoma, best known for her voice work as Violet Parr on The Incredibles series
  • Helen Jane Morgan (1966-2020), Welsh bronze medalist field hockey player at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona
  • Celia Jane Innes C.V.O., L.V.O. (b. 1948), British Lady in Waiting to The Princess Royal, was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 29th December 2018 [12]
  • Dame Susan Jane Owen D.C.B., C.B. (b. 1955), British Permanent Secretary for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Civil Service Champion for Diversity and Inclusion, was appointed Companion of the Order of Bath on 8th June 2018 and Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2010, for public service [13]
  • Ms. Amanda Jane Levete C.B.E., British recipient of Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 17th June 2017, for services to Architecture
  • Mrs. Mary Jane Goodchild M.V.O., British Volunteer for the Prince's Trust was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order on 17th June 2017


  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. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bellona
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  12. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  13. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 4 July 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1


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