Jenkins History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jenkins 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 Jenkins 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 Jenkins family

The surname Jenkins 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 Jenkins family

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

Jenkins 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 Jenkins have included Jenkins, Jenkin, Jankins, Jenkynn, Jenkynns, Jenkyns, Jinkines, Jinkins, Jenkens, Junkin, Junkins and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Jenkins family to Ireland

Some of the Jenkins 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 Jenkins migration to the United States +

During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Jenkins:

Jenkins Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John, Joan, Mary, and Thomas Jenkins, who all, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Sarah Jenkins, who arrived in New England in 1634 [2]
  • Edmund Jenkins, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Elizabeth Jenkins, aged 27, who arrived in New England in 1635 [2]
  • Edward Jenkins, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Jenkins Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ellinor Jenkins, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [2]
  • Dorman Jenkins, who landed in North Carolina in 1701 [2]
  • Jones Jenkins, who arrived in North Carolina in 1701 [2]
  • Jane Jenkins, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [2]
  • Morris Jenkins, who arrived in Virginia in 1717 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Jenkins Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Launcelot Jenkins, who landed in America in 1802 [2]
  • Roger Jenkins, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1802 [2]
  • Henry Jenkins, who arrived in Maryland in 1805 [2]
  • Benjamin Jenkins, aged 55, who landed in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Thomas Jenkins, aged 41, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Jenkins migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Jenkins Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Peter Jenkins, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • Lt. John Jenkins U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he served in the New Jersey Volunteers 2nd Battalion [3]
Jenkins Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Jenkins, aged 42, a tailor, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • Bridget Jenkins, aged 40, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • Philippa Jenkins, aged 14, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • William Jenkins, aged 12, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • George Jenkins, aged 50, a chordwinder, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Jenkins migration to Australia +

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

Jenkins Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
Jenkins Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Elizabeth Jenkins, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Broxbournebury" in January 1814, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Evan Jenkins, Welsh convict who was convicted in Glamorgan, Glamorganshire, Wales for 14 years, transported aboard the "Canada" on 23rd April 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. William Jenkins, Welsh convict who was convicted in Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Wales for 7 years, transported aboard the "Caledonia" on 5th July 1820, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Thomas Jenkins, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • Samuel Jenkins, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Jenkins 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:

Jenkins Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • W Jenkins, who landed in Mana, New Zealand in 1837 aboard the ship Louisa
  • Robert Jenkins, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1839
  • Robert Jenkins, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Success" in 1839
  • John Jenkins, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr Jenkins, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Lord Auckland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Jenkins (post 1700) +

  • John Jenkins (1952-2020), American martial artist and politician who served as the first African American Mayor of Lewiston, Maine from 1994 to 1998
  • Louis Burke Jenkins (1942-2019), American prose poet from Enid, Oklahoma
  • Dan Jenkins (1929-2019), American author and sportswriter who often wrote for Sports Illustrated
  • Brandon Dean Jenkins (1969-2018), American singer-songwriter and philanthropist
  • Leroy Jenkins (1934-2017), American televangelist and preacher
  • Captain Lawrence L. "Larry" Jenkins (1924-2017), American World War II veteran and memoirist; during the war he was a B-17 co-pilot who spent over ten months as a prisoner of war
  • Richard Dale Jenkins (b. 1947), American Primetime Emmy Award winning actor
  • Paul Jenkins (1939-2013), American television actor, known for his roles in M*A*S*H, Columbo, Lou Grant, Kojak, The Partridge Family, Starsky and Hutch and as Professor Parks in The Waltons
  • Chris Jenkins, American two-time Academy Award winning sound engineer
  • Charles Francis Jenkins (1867-1934), American pioneer of early cinema, one of the inventors of television, founder of Charles Jenkins Laboratories, who held over 400 patents
  • ... (Another 188 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Miss Evelyn Lois Jenkins (d. 1979), New Zealander passenger, from Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; she died in the crash [10]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Harold Jenkins, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Thomas Sidney Jenkins (1909-1939), British Stoker 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [12]
  • Eric John Arnold Jenkins (1915-1939), British Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [12]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. James Jenkins, English Fireman from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [13]
  • Mr. Alfred Jenkins, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [13]
  • Mr. Francis Bertram Jenkins, English 1st Class Passenger residing in Chicago, Illinois, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [13]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Robert Henry Dawson Jenkins, American Seaman Second Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [14]


  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)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/charlotte)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/broxbournebury
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/caledonia
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  10. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  11. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  12. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  13. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  14. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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