Jenking History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jenking 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 Jenking 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 Jenking family

The surname Jenking 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 Jenking family

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

Jenking Spelling Variations

There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Jenking have included Jenkins, Jenkin, Jankins, Jenkynn, Jenkynns, Jenkyns, Jinkines, Jinkins, Jenkens, Junkin, Junkins and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Jenking family to Ireland

Some of the Jenking 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.


Australia Jenking migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Jenking Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Jenking, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Waterloo" in 1840 [2]
  • Emma Jenking, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Waterloo" in 1840 [2]

New Zealand Jenking migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Jenking Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Jenking, aged 26, a farm labourer, who arrived in Taranaki aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
  • Kate Jenking, aged 26, who arrived in Taranaki aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
  • Mr. George Jenking, (b. 1852), aged 26, Cornish farm labourer departing on 4th September 1878 aboard the ship "Hermione" going to Taranaki, New Zealand arriving in port on 17th December 1878 [3]
  • Mrs. Kate Jenking, (b. 1852), aged 26, Cornish settler departing on 4th September 1878 aboard the ship "Hermione" going to Taranaki, New Zealand arriving in port on 17th December 1878 [3]


  1. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WATERLOO 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Waterloo.htm
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf


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