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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

From the land of Wales came the name of Pennant. The surname derives from the name of the parish of Pennant, in the county of Montgomery. The surname Pennant belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.


The surname Pennant 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.

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. As a result, people could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Pennant name over the years has been spelled Pennant, Penant and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pennant research. Another 249 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pennant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Pennant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Pennant:

Pennant Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Pennant settled in Virginia in 1698

Pennant Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Edward Pennant, aged 40, arrived in New York in 1721

  • David Pennant, American judge
  • Thomas Pennant (1726-1798), Welsh naturalist and antiquary
  • Sir Cyril Cyril Eustace Douglas Pennant (1894-1961), KCB CBE DSO DSC, was a British Royal Navy officer
  • Edward Sholto Douglas Pennant (1864-1927), 3rd Baron Penrhyn, was a British Conservative politician
  • Commandant Violet Blanche Douglas Pennant (1869-1945), British philanthropist
  • Sir Samuel Samuel Pennant (d. 1750), elected Lord Mayor of London in 1749
  • Richard Pennant (1737-1808), 1st Baron Penrhyn, was a slave owner, anti-abolitionist Member of Parliament and Irish peer
  • Cass Pennant (b. 1958), English writer and former football hooligan
  • Jermaine Lloyd Pennant (b. 1983), English footballer

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.


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    Other References

    1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
    4. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
    5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
    6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    11. ...

    The Pennant Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Pennant Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 10 December 2010 at 11:20.

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