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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The notable Jenifer family arose among the Cornish People, a race with a rich Celtic heritage and an indomitable fighting spirit who inhabited the southwest of England. While surnames were well-known during the English medieval period, Cornish People originally used only a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames came into common use is interesting. As the population of medieval Europe multiplied, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Patronymic surnames were derived from given names and were the predominant type of surname among the Celtic peoples of Britain. However, the people of Cornwall provide a surprising exception to this rule, and patronymic surnames are less common among them than other people of Celtic stock, such as their Welsh neighbors. This is due to the greater influence of English bureaucracy and naming practices in Cornwall at the time that surnames first arose. This type of surname blended perfectly with the prevailing Feudal System. One feature that is occasionally found in Cornish surnames of this type is the suffix -oe or -ow; this is derived from the Cornish plural suffix -ow. is a patronymic surname that came from the Welsh personal name Guinivere, which is composed of the elements gwen, which means fair, wyf, which means smooth or yielding, and fawr, which means large. The word gin (as in the alcoholic drink) is a shortened form of the older English word genever, which was derived from the French word genièvre and the Dutch word jenever meaning juniper from the Latin word juniperus.

Jenifer Early Origins



The surname Jenifer was first found in Cornwall, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

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Jenifer Spelling Variations


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Jenifer Spelling Variations



Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Jenifer, Jennifer, Jenefer, Genever, Genhaver and others.

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Jenifer Early History


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Jenifer Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jenifer research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jenifer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Jenifer Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Jenifer Early Notables (pre 1700)



More information is included under the topic Early Jenifer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Jenifer In Ireland


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Jenifer In Ireland



Some of the Jenifer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Jenifer:

Jenifer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Margaret Jenifer, who sailed to Maryland in 1663
  • Margaret Jenifer, who landed in Maryland in 1663
  • Daniel Jenifer, who landed in Maryland in 1667
  • Daniel Jenifer sailed to Maryland in 1667
  • Sarah Jenifer sailed to Maryland in 1670
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Contemporary Notables of the name Jenifer (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Jenifer (post 1700)



  • Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (1723-1790), American politician and a Founding Father of the United States
  • Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (1723-1790), American politician, Member of Maryland State Senate, 1777-81; Delegate to Continental Congress from Maryland, 1778-82; Candidate for Governor of Maryland, 1782, 1785
  • Daniel Jenifer (1791-1855), American politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates, 1817-19, 1829-30; U.S. Representative from Maryland, 1831-33, 1835-41; U.S. Minister to Austria, 1841-45
  • Daniel Jenifer (1791-1855), 19th century U.S. congressman and minister to Austria, nephew of Daniel of St.Thomas Jenifer

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Jenifer Family Crest Products


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Jenifer Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
    2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
    3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
    4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
    5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    6. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    7. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
    8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    11. ...

    The Jenifer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Jenifer Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 16 September 2016 at 07:25.

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