Show ContentsJanis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Janis 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 Janis family

The surname Janis was first found 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, 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 Janis family

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

Janis 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 Janis family

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. 4Joseph 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 Janis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Janis Ranking

In the United States, the name Janis is the 11,849th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 5

Canada Janis migration to Canada +

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 Janis or a variant listed above:

Janis Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Charlotte Janis married in Quebec in 1726

Contemporary Notables of the name Janis (post 1700) +

  • Byron Janis (1928-2024), né Yanks, an American classical pianist who made numerous recordings for RCA Victor and Mercury Records
  • Conrad Janis (1928-2022), American jazz trombonist and actor, best known for his role as Mindy McConnell's father Frederick on television's Mork & Mindy
  • Roy B.B. Janis (1957-2020), Indonesian politician
  • Mrs. Maureen Janis Lees B.E.M., British recipient of the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for services to Young People and to the community in Chelmsford, Essex 6
  • Janis Lyn Joplin (1943-1970), American blues-influenced rock singer, inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995
  • Janis Lipke (1900-1987), Latvian rescuer of Jews in Riga in World War II from the Holocaust in Latvia
  • Janis Skredelis (1939-2019), Latvian football coach
  • Janis Lynn Hape (1958-2021), also known by her married name Janis Dowd, an American Olympic competition swimmer
  • Ms. Janis Linda Hickey M.B.E., British Founder and former Project Manager for The British Thyroid Foundation, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to People Affected by Thyroid Disease 7
  • Janis Rachel Lomax (b. 1945), Welsh economist, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England

  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.?".,
  6. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018,
  7. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook