Jenken History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jenken 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 Jenken 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 Jenken family

The surname Jenken 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 Jenken family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jenken 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 Jenken History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jenken Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Jenken have included Jenkins, Jenkin, Jankins, Jenkynn, Jenkynns, Jenkyns, Jinkines, Jinkins, Jenkens, Junkin, Junkins and many more.

Early Notables of the Jenken 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 Jenken Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Jenken family to Ireland

Some of the Jenken 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 Jenken migration to the United States +

The Welsh began to emigrate to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of land, work, and freedom. Those that arrived helped shape the industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. The records regarding immigration and passenger show a number of people bearing the name Jenken:

Jenken Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Jenken, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [2]
  • William Jenken, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1693 [2]


  1. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  2. ^ 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)


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