From the land of Wales
came the name of Penan. The surname derives from the name of the parish of Pennant, in the county of Montgomery. The surname Penan belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Penan family
The surname Penan was first found in Flintshire
(Welsh: Sir y Fflint), a historic county, created after the defeat of the Welsh
Kingdom of Gwynedd in 1284, and located in north-east Wales
, where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Early History of the Penan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Penan research.Another 249 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Penan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Penan Spelling Variations
There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations
. Early variations of Welsh
surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic
, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh
names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations
were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Penan have included Pennant, Penant and others.
Early Notables of the Penan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Penan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Penan family to the New World and Oceana
families joined their Scottish and Irish neighbors during the late 1800s and early 1900s in seeking refuge in North America. Like the Irish and Scottish, many Welsh
anxiously awaited the work, freedom, and opportunities that they believed lay in North America. Those who did journey over to the United States and what became known as Canada often realized those dreams, but only through much toil and perseverance. Whenever and however these Welsh
immigrants arrived in North America, they were instrumental in the creation of the industry, commerce, and cultural heritage within those two developing nations. In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Penan were found: John Pennant settled in Virginia in 1698.
The Penan 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: Aequo animo
Motto Translation: With equanimity.