Show ContentsJenny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Jenny family name to the British Isles. Jenny comes from the personal name John. The feminine name Jenny was initially a masculine form and modification of the personal name Jenin.The Norman name Jenny descended from Guisnes near Calais in Normandy. The family name Jenny was brought to England after the Norman Conquest, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats.

Early Origins of the Jenny family

The surname Jenny was first found in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Bredfield in that shire where they were granted land by Duke William for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Conjecturally, they are descended from Peter who held his lands from Hervey de Bourges, tenant in chief. The village was rated in the Domesday Book Survey as a village, a Church and 3 oxen or teamlands. There is also a moated site which was known as Bradfield Castle, although the village is Bredfield. The name Jenney was descended from Guisnes near Calais in Normandy. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls had only entry for the family, that of Alan filius Jene in Lincolnshire and the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had the following in a variety of early spellings: Ricardus Gene; Thomas Genne; and Agnes Gine. All held land there at that time. [2]

Early History of the Jenny family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jenny research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1563, 1330, 1460, 1477, 1623, 1636, 1644, 1565, 1583 and 1565 are included under the topic Early Jenny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jenny Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Jenney, Jennie, Jenny, Genny, Gennie, Gynney and others.

Early Notables of the Jenny family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edward Jenney of Bredfield House; Sir William Jenny, one of the Judges of the King's Bench in 1477 and John Jenney, early American settler from Leyden in 1623 aboard the Little James. He built the original Jenney Grist Mill in Plymouth Colony in 1636 and was run by him until his death in 1644. Thomas Jenye (fl. 1565-1583), was a rebel and poet, "whose name appears also as Jeny, Jenny, Jenninges, Genys, Genynges, seems to have been...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jenny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jenny World Ranking

In the United States, the name Jenny is the 18,164th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3] However, in France, the name Jenny is ranked the 9,556th most popular surname with an estimated 500 - 1,000 people with that name. [4] And in New Zealand, the name Jenny is the 716th popular surname with an estimated 999 people with that name. [5]

United States Jenny migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Jenny or a variant listed above:

Jenny Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Jenny, who arrived in Virginia in 1669
  • Ann Jenny, who landed in Maryland in 1676 [6]
Jenny Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jacob Jenny, who arrived with two children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Ellen Jenny, age 15, who arrived in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1820
  • Richard Jenny, who settled in Norfolk Virginia in 1823
  • John Jenny, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1873 [6]
  • Jacob Jenny, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Jenny (post 1700) +

  • J. F. Jenny, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Idaho, 1940, 1952 (alternate) [7]
  • Hans Jenny (1904-1972), Swiss physician and natural scientist, considered the father of cymatics
  • Hans Jenny (1899-1992), Swiss soil scientist and author of numerous books on the subject
  • Mrs. Doreen Jenny Lee B.E.M., British Volunteer for Citizens Advice Bournemouth, was appointed Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to the community in Bournemouth [8]
  • Jenny Clève (1930-2023), French actress from Roubaix, France
  • Jenny Edkins, British political scientist, Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester
  • Jenny Lesslie, American actress, known for Fright of the Dead (2012) and Miracle Grow (2012)
  • Jenny Chicoine, American actress and model, known for her work on Occupation double (2003)
  • Jenny Lynn (d. 2021), American International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) professional figure competitor
  • Jenny Duck (b. 1968), New Zealand bronze medalist field hockey player at the 1998 Commonwealth Games

The Jenny Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Deus Mihi Providebit
Motto Translation: God will provide for me.

  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. "Most Common Last Names in New Zealand." Forebears,
  6. 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)
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from
  8. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook