Jennifer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. 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 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.

Early Origins of the Jennifer family

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

Early History of the Jennifer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jennifer research. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jennifer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jennifer 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.

Early Notables of the Jennifer family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Jennifer family

A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Jennifer: Margaret Jenifer, who sailed to Maryland in 1663; Daniel Jenifer in 1667; Sarah Jenifer in 1670; Jacob and Elizabeth Jenifer, also to Maryland, in 1673..

Contemporary Notables of the name Jennifer (post 1700) +

  • Mrs. Sally Jennifer Tennant O.B.E., British Patron for Tommy’s, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Research into Miscarriages and Stillbirths [1]
  • Rachael Jennifer Treasure (b. 1968), née Smith, Australian journalist and writer
  • Mary Jennifer Guinness (1937-2016), née Hollwey, an English-born Irish socialite, member of the Guinness family who was kidnapped in April 1986 but rescued eight days later
  • Louisa Jennifer Fielden (b. 1983), British film director, screenwriter and music video director
  • Megan Jennifer Connolly (1974-2001), Australian actress
  • Andrea Jennifer Shubert (b. 1975), American video game designer and producer
  • Jennifer Shrader Lawrence (b. 1990), American multiple award winning actress, the highest-paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016, perhaps best known for her roles in X-Men and The Hunger Games movies
  • Jennifer Stoddart (b. 1949), 6th Privacy Commissioner of Canada (2003-2013)
  • Jennifer Barbara "Jenny" Donnet (b. 1963), Australian two-time gold medalist diver, daughter of Barbara Ethel McAulay Donnet
  • Jennifer Lucy Bate OBE (1944-2020), English internationally acclaimed concert organist

  1. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook
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