Show ContentsJohnys History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Johnys 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 Johnys family

The surname Johnys 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 Johnys family

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

Johnys Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled John, Johns, Jon, Jone, Johnes, Johnys, Joan, Joanes, Jones and many more.

Early Notables of the Johnys family (pre 1700)

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 Johnys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Johnys family to Ireland

Some of the Johnys 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.

Migration of the Johnys family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Johnys name or one of its variants: John Jone, who settled in Maryland in 1659; Anthony John, who came to Barbados in 1679; Edward John, who emigrated from Wales to Pennsylvania in 1682.

  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 on Facebook