Jenings History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient surname Jenings came from The name Jenings is derived from the personal name John, or perhaps more accurately from several diminutions of the name John, such as Jan, Jon, or Jen. [1]

Patronymic surnames belong to the larger category of surnames, known as hereditary surnames, and they arose out of the vernacular and religious given name traditions. In the religious naming tradition, which was developed later than the vernacular tradition, surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint. John, of course, is derived from John the Baptist, who was born in order to announce Christ's coming.

Early Origins of the Jenings family

The surname Jenings was first found in Sussex where Roger Jonyng was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1296. A few years later in 1327, the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire listed Walter Jannen and Richard Janyns in 1327. In the same year, John Janyng was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex. From these early entries, we must look over 100 years later to find Thomas Jenyn in the Feet of Fines for Sussex in 1428. [2]

Two other sources had interesting entries with spellings that have fallen out of favour. The Register of the University of Oxford includes John Genens, or Jenens, citizen of Oxford in 1573 and Francis Jenance, or Jennens, or Jenens in the same year. In Norfolk, Thomas Jennyns was registered these 13 Elizabeth (during the 13th year of Elizabeth I's reign) [3]

Early History of the Jenings family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jenings research. Another 275 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1332, 1508, 1731, 1819, 1610, 1571, 1450, 1523, 1499, 1509, 1567, 1591, 1567, 1570, 1660, 1619, 1668, 1642, 1668, 1660, 1717, 1710, 1717, 1636, 1693, 1663, 1740, 1745 and are included under the topic Early Jenings History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jenings Spelling Variations

Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. 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. Therefore, 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 after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Jennings, Jenings, Jennins, Jennyns, Jennens, Jennynge, Jennynges, Jenyns and many more.

Early Notables of the Jenings family (pre 1700)

Notable of this family during the Middle Ages was Sir Stephen Jenyns (c.?1450-1523), English wool merchant from Wolverhampton who became Sheriff of London in 1499, before becoming Lord Mayor of London in 1509. Saint Edmund Gennings (1567-1591), was an English Catholic martyr, who was executed during the English Reformation. He was born in 1567 at Lichfield and brought up in the Protestant religion. He became a page in the service of Richard Sherwood, a Catholic gentleman, who afterwards went to Rheims and took holy orders. [4] John Gennings (c. 1570-1660), was an Englishman who was converted to Catholicism through the martyrdom of his...
Another 124 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jenings Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Jenings family to Ireland

Some of the Jenings 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.


United States Jenings migration to the United States +

Early immigration records have shown some of the first of the name Jenings to arrive on North American shores were:

Jenings Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mathew Jenings, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [5]
  • Edward Jenings, who arrived in Virginia in 1629 [5]
  • Robert Jenings, who landed in New England in 1634 [5]
  • Thomas Jenings, who arrived in Virginia in 1636 [5]
  • Thomas Jenings, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Jenings Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edmd Jenings, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [5]
  • Eliz Jenings, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [5]
  • Edmund Jenings, who arrived in Virginia in 1729 [5]

West Indies Jenings migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Jenings Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Phillipp Jenings, aged 25, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [5]
  • Mr. Phillipp Jenings, (b. 1610), aged 25, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Paul of London" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [7]
  • Hannah Jenings who settled in Barbados in 1654 along with John

Contemporary Notables of the name Jenings (post 1700) +

  • Edmund Jenings Randolph (1753-1813), American politician, Governor of Virginia, 1786-88; Member, U.S. Constitutional Convention, 1787; Member of Virginia State House of Delegates, 1788; U.S. Secretary of State, 1794-95 [8]


  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. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. 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. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  7. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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