Jankens History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jankens surname has long been associated with Wales. This surname comes from the personal names Jen, Jan, and Jon, which are all forms of the name John. The surname Jankens also features the diminutive suffix -kin, which is commonly held to have been brought to Britain from the Netherlands as early as the 12th century, when it is found as a component of the surnames of some Flemish settlers. Generally, the Jenkin variant of this name came from the Devon-Cornwall region.

Early Origins of the Jankens family

The surname Jankens was first found in "South Wales and Monmouthshire, where it is very numerous. Like other Welsh names it has spread itself to the southward and eastward, though not nearly to the extent of some of the other common names of the Principality."

"The usual explanation that Jenkins is a name of Flemish type, probably introduced by the Flemings who settled in numbers in South Wales in the reign of Henry I., is to some extent supported by the fact that the great home of the name is now in South Wales and Monmouthshire. It is singular, however, that the name, usually as Jenkin, should be numerous in Cornwall. Cornwall is very Welsh with reference to some of its most frequent names, such as Roberts, Phillips, Williams, Richards, Thomas, Jenkin, Harris, James, &c., which, in the intervening counties of Devon and Somerset are usually much less numerous. This close resemblance in family nomenclature between two isolated regions that possess a similar racial history is very remarkable." [1]

Early History of the Jankens family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jankens research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1460, 1582, 1663, 1582, 1597, 1600, 1602, 1609, 1622, 1625, 1722, 1798 and are included under the topic Early Jankens History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jankens Spelling Variations

Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Jankens has occasionally been spelled Jenkins, Jenkin, Jankins, Jenkynn, Jenkynns, Jenkyns, Jinkines, Jinkins, Jenkens, Junkin, Junkins and many more.

Early Notables of the Jankens family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was David Jenkins (1582-1663), Welsh judge and Royalist, "the son of Jenkin Richard of Hensol, in the parish of Pendeulwyn, Glamorganshire, where he was born in 1582. He became a commoner of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, in 1597, and took the degree of B.A. 4...
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jankens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Jankens family to Ireland

Some of the Jankens family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Jankens family

In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Jankens Alexander, Oliver, Joanne, and William Jinkins, who all came to Virginia in 1624; Walter Jenkyns, who settled in Virginia in 1635; Edmund Jenkins, who arrived in Virginia in 1635.



  1. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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