Show ContentsJenyns History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name of the Jenyns family is derived from The name Jenyns 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 Jenyns family

The surname Jenyns 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 Jenyns family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jenyns research. Another 275 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1332, 1450, 1489, 1499, 1508, 1509, 1523, 1524, 1567, 1570, 1571, 1591, 1610, 1619, 1634, 1636, 1642, 1660, 1661, 1662, 1663, 1664, 1668, 1687, 1688, 1690, 1691, 1693, 1700, 1701, 1710, 1717, 1731, 1740, 1743, 1745, 1747, 1762, 1773, 1819 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Jenyns History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jenyns Spelling Variations

Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. 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. Therefore, 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 after the Norman Conquest, 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 Jenyns family

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
  • Richard Jennings or Jenyns (c. 1619-1668), was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1642 and 1668, father of Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, who was confidant of Quee...
  • John Jenyns (c.1660-1717), of Hayes and Bedford Row, St. Andrew's Holborn, Middlesex, was an English politician, Member of the Parliament for Cambridgeshire (1710-1717)
  • Roger Jenyns of Hayes, Middlesex (1636-1693); and his son, Sir Roger Jenyns (1663-1740), of Bottisham, Cambridgeshire, were English knights and landowners. The latter was father of Soame Jenyns, the E...

Ireland Migration of the Jenyns family to Ireland

Some of the Jenyns 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.

Migration of the Jenyns family

Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Jenyns: Hannah Jenings who settled in Barbados in 1654 along with John; Thomas Jenings settled in Virginia in 1636; Edward Jennings settled in Virginia in 1643.

Contemporary Notables of the name Jenyns (post 1700) +

  • Soame Jenyns (1704-1787), English writer and politician, Member of Parliament for Cambridgeshire in 1742, oldest son of Sir Roger Jenyns [4]
  • Leonard Jenyns (1800-1893), English clergyman, author and naturalist who later changed his name to Leonard Blomefield to receive an inheritance
  • Bob Jenyns (b. 1944), Australian artist, known for his sculptures, prints, drawings, and paintings, many of his works appear in the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Queensland Art Gallery
  • Roger Soame Jenyns (1904-1976), British art historian

  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. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 26 October 2020 on Facebook