January History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the January family

The surname January was first found in Kent, where Gilbert Genewy was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1218-1219. Years later, with other early spellings, we found Peter de Geneva 1249, de Geneweye in the Feet of Fines for Herefordshire in 1251. [1]

The name was likely a nickname for someone from Genoa. "The Genoese traded much with England, both in silks and spices." [2] [3]

"As late as the 16th cent. a native of Genoa was called in England a Jan(e)way." [4]

Early History of the January family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our January research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1562, 1576, 1670, 1715, 1717, 1787, 1636, 1674, 1636, 1633, 1657, 1633, 1628 and 1638 are included under the topic Early January History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

January Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of January include Genewy, Genway, Gannaway, Jennaway, Janaway, January, Jennery, Jeneway, Janoway, Janeway, Janaway and many more.

Early Notables of the January family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include James Janeway (1636-1674), a Puritan minister and children's author, second in popularity only to John Bunyan. He was the fourth son of William Janeway, and younger brother of John Janeway [q. v.], was born about the end of 1636 at...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early January Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

January Ranking

In the United States, the name January is the 11,519th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5] However, in South Africa, the name January is ranked the 814th most popular surname with an estimated 8,496 people with that name. [6]


United States January migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The January were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

January Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas January, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1686 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name January (post 1700) +

  • James January Winans (1818-1879), American Republican politician, Member of Ohio State Senate, 1857; Member of Ohio State House of Representatives, 1863; U.S. Representative from Ohio 7th District, 1869-71 [8]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/south-africa/surnames
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 26) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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