Jennings History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Jennings began when it was derived from The name Jennings 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 Jennings family

The surname Jennings 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 Jennings family

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

Jennings Spelling Variations

There are many spelling variations of Breton surnames, because 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 references to one individual with many 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. The name has been spelled Jennings, Jenings, Jennins, Jennyns, Jennens, Jennynge, Jennynges, Jenyns and many more.

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

Jennings World Ranking

In the United States, the name Jennings is the 274th most popular surname with an estimated 96,993 people with that name. [5] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Jennings is ranked the 458th most popular surname with an estimated 103 people with that name. [6] And in Australia, the name Jennings is the 291st popular surname with an estimated 12,136 people with that name. [7] New Zealand ranks Jennings as 388th with 1,674 people. [8] The United Kingdom ranks Jennings as 282nd with 21,680 people. [9]

Ireland Migration of the Jennings family to Ireland

Some of the Jennings 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 Jennings migration to the United States +

An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Jennings arrived in North America very early:

Jennings Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mary Jennings, who settled in Maryland 1633
  • Mary Jennings, who landed in Maryland in 1633 [10]
  • Nicholas Jennings, aged 22, who landed in New England in 1634 [10]
  • Richard Jennings, aged 35, who landed in Bermuda in 1635 [10]
  • Jane Jennings, aged 25, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Jennings Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Jennings, who landed in Leeward Islands in 1703-1704 [10]
Jennings Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Jennings, who landed in New York in 1826 [10]
  • Joseph Jennings, who landed in New York in 1835 [10]
  • Charles Jennings, who arrived in New York in 1835 [10]
  • Edward Jennings, who landed in New York in 1838 [10]
  • Mr. J. Jennings, (b. 1836), aged 30, Cornish settler departing from Falmouth aboard the ship "Cornwall" arriving in the United States on 3 June 1841 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Jennings Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Thomas Jennings, (b. 1870), aged 30, Cornish farmer travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 31st March 1900 en route to New York, USA [12]
  • Mrs. Robert Jennings, (b. 1880), aged 20, Cornish labourer from St. Ives, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Majestic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 25th July 1900 en route to Calumet, Michigan, USA [12]
  • Christian Jennings, who landed in Pike County, Ind in 1900 [10]
  • Mrs. George Jennings, (b. 1874), aged 29, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 11th June 1903 en route to Ishpeming, Michigan, USA [12]
  • Mrs. Samuel John Jennings, (b. 1863), aged 41, Cornish compositor from Truro, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Arabic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 17th October 1904 en route to New York, USA [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Jennings migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Jennings Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Benjamin Jennings, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. Thomas Jennings U.E. (b. 1736) born in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Grand Lake, Queens County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1839 [13]
Jennings Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Francis Jennings, aged 34, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the barque "New Brunswick" from Liverpool, England
  • Sarah Jennings, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the barque "New Brunswick" from Liverpool, England
  • Mr. Austin Jennings, aged 45 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "George" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle In June 1847 [14]
  • Mrs. Margaret Jennings, aged 40 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Jane Avery" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle In July 1847 [14]
  • Miss. Mary Jennings, aged 12 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "George" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle In June 1847 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Jennings migration to Australia +

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

Jennings Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Charlotte Jennings, (b. 1784), aged 16, English servant who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1839 [15]
  • Jonathan Jennings, English convict from Durham, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Miss Mary Jennings, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for life, transported aboard the "Canada" in March 1810, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [17]
  • Miss Ann Jennings, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Broxbournebury" in January 1814, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • Miss Mary Jennings, (b. 1787), aged 31, Irish convict who was convicted in Sligo, Ireland for 7 years for vagrancy, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 26th July 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [19]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Jennings 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:

Jennings Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Jennings, aged 32, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Jennings, aged 22, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • Francis Jennings, aged 1, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • John Jennings, aged 1 month, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • William Jennings, aged 31, a labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Jennings 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. [20]
Jennings Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Richard Jennings, (b. 1600), aged 35, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [21]
  • Miss Sarah Jennings, (b. 1617), aged 18, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [21]
  • John Jennings, who settled in Barbados in 1663

Contemporary Notables of the name Jennings (post 1700) +

  • J. Russell "Russ" Jennings (1955-2021), American politician, Member of the Kansas House of Representatives from the 122nd district (2013-2021)
  • John Edward Jennings (1953-2015), American guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and music producer
  • J. B. Jennings (b. 1974), American politician, Member of the Maryland Senate (2011-)
  • Hugh Ambrose Jennings (1869-1928), American Major League Baseball player and manager, posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945
  • Gregory Jennings Jr. (b. 1983), American NFL football wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings
  • Francis "Fritz" Jennings (1918-2000), American historian
  • Christine Jennings (b. 1945), American banker, businessperson and politician, Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative for Florida (2008)
  • Brian Lewis Jennings (b. 1976), American NFL football long snapper and tight end for the San Francisco 49ers (2000-2012)
  • Brandon Jennings (b. 1989), American professional NBA basketball player
  • Adam Jennings (b. 1982), American NFL football wide receiver
  • ... (Another 141 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Charles Ivory Jennings (1935-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Taradale, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [22]
Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Donny Kerry Jennings (b. 1960), American Staff Sergeant from Clarksville, Tennessee, USA who died in the crash [23]
  • Mr. Todd Martice Jennings (b. 1965), New York, USA, American Specialist 4th Class from Yonkers, New York, USA who died in the crash [23]
Halifax Explosion
  • Master Douglas R.  Jennings (1917-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [24]
HMAS Sydney II
HMS Dorsetshire
  • John Edward Telford Jennings (d. 1945), British Sub Lieutenant Paymaster aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [26]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Walter H W Jennings (b. 1906), English Chief Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Ryde, Isle of Wight, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [27]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William Glynne Jennings, British Blacksmith 5th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [28]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Russel Ernest Jennings (1923-1939), British Boy 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 [29]
Prince of Wales colliery
  • Mr. H. C. Jennings (b. 1864), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [30]


Suggested Readings for the name Jennings +

  • A Family History by Mildred King Whitten.

  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  9. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  10. ^ 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)
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 35)
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  16. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  18. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/broxbournebury
  19. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  20. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  21. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  22. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  23. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  24. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  25. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  26. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  27. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  28. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  29. ^ 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
  30. ^ Entombed in flood and flame (retrieved 3rd August 2021). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20120603025705/http://www.crosskeys.me.uk/history/prince.htm


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