Show ContentsJohnes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Johnes is derived from the given name "John," which is itself derived from the Hebrew name "Johanan," meaning "Jehovah has favored."

"This baptismal name, which is of Norman introduction, has rarely passed into a surname. The London Directory for 1852 affords but one instance." 1

The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066, and was extremely popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages as a result of the numerous connections between the name John and the Christian Church.

Early Origins of the Johnes family

The surname Johnes was first found in Lincolnshire, borne by Alanus filius Jene in 1275. Other early bearers of the name include Willelmus filius Gene, who was recorded in the Rotuli Hundredorum of Yorkshire in 1276, Walterus filius Jone, who was living in Huntingdonshire in 1279, and Thomas John, who was a resident of Buckinghamshire in 1279. 2

In Somerset, Robert Johns, was listed 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) 3 Lewis Johns was prebendary of St. David's in 1486. 4

Farther to the south in the parish of Wendron, Cornwall, we found this interesting entry. "The barton of Tremere, or Trenear, on which are now only some small cottages, is said to have been a place of considerable fame in former ages. This is at present the property of the representatives of the late Richard Johns, Esq. of Helston, by purchase from the Vyvyans. Tonkin speaking of this place says, 'At Trenere in Wendron is an arched vault of moorstone near the house, said to have been a cellar of the ancient Dukes of Cornwall, and this one of their hunting seats. This vault, which is very entire, indicates a place of some distinction.' " 5

Early History of the Johnes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Johnes research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1279, 1327, 1379, 1417, 1463, 1600, 1656, 1664, 1736, 1754, 1776, 1796, 1843, 1858 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Johnes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Johnes Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled John, Johns, Jon, Jone, Johnes, Johnys, Joan, Joanes, Jones and many more.

Early Notables of the Johnes family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Hugh Johnys (fl. 1417-1463), Knight-Marshal of England and France, is said to have been the son of John Watkin Vaughan, who was the bastard child of Watkin Vaughan. In the muster-roll of the English army, dated July 1417, 'Here John,'...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Johnes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Johnes family to Ireland

Some of the Johnes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Johnes migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Johnes or a variant listed above:

Johnes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Sara Johnes, who arrived in New England in 1632 6
  • Jo Johnes, aged 18, who arrived in New England in 1635 aboard the ship "Hopewell" 6
  • Mrs. Margaret Johnes, who arrived in New England in 1634 aboard the ship "Hercules" 6
  • John Johnes, who landed in Virginia in 1638 6
Johnes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Johnes, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 6

West Indies Johnes 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. 7
Johnes Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. David Johnes, (b. 1610), aged 24, British settler travelling from London, UK arriving in St Christopher (St. Kitts) on 5th January 1634 6
  • Mr. Hugh Johnes, (b. 1613), aged 22, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 8
  • Mr. Oliver Johnes, aged 25 who arrived in St. Kitts (St Christopher) aboard the ship "Amity" in 1635 6

Contemporary Notables of the name Johnes (post 1700) +

  • John B. Johnes, American politician, Member of New Jersey State Senate from Morris County, 1845-47 9
  • Thomas Johnes (1748-1816), English translator of Froissart, born at Ludlow, Shropshire, in 1748, belonged to an old Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire family, the eldest son of Thomas Johnes of Llanvairclydogau and Croft Castle, Herefordshire, M.P. for Radnorshire 10
  • Arthur James Johnes (1809-1871), Welsh county court judge, born on 4 Feb. 1809, the only son of Edward Johnes of Garthmyl, near Montgomery 10

SS Caribou
  • Mr. R. W. Johnes, British passenger who was Royal Air Force was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, he survived the sinking

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  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)
  8. Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021 from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from
  10. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 26 October 2020 on Facebook