Show ContentsPenner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Penner surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived near an area that was referred to as the Penn. The surname Penner is a toponymic surname which described where the original bearer held land. In this case the surname was originally derived from the Old English words penn, meaning an area that housed stray animals and penn which referred to a hill. [1]

"Pen is a Celtic topographical word, signifying 'a conical top, generally in a range of hills, as Penchrise-pen, Skelfhill-pen, &c.'. But there are several parishes, &c., to which this signification does not apply, in the counties of Buckingham and Stafford." [2]

Early Origins of the Penner family

The surname Penner was first found in Buckingham at Penn, a parish, in the union of Amersham, hundred of Burnham. [3]

Penn is also a parish, in the union, and N. division of the hundred, of Seisdon in Staffordshire and while this parish dates back to the Domesday Book when it was known as Penne, [4] it is the former that traditionally most of the family hails.

Indeed, the family of William Penn (1644-1718), founder of the Province of Pennsylvania (today, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) traces their origin to Penn, Buckinghamshire. [2] [5]

Early rolls provide a glimpse of various spellings and areas of ancient Britain that at one time were the family's ancient homesteads. Warin de Penne was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Staffordshire in 1176 and a few years later, Walter de la Penne was found in the Pipe Rolls for Berkshire in 1196. John ate Penne was listed in Cornwall in 1297; Adam son of Penne was listed at Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1277; and John Penn(e) was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327 and the Subsidy Rolls for Essex. [6]

Early History of the Penner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Penner research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1621, 1670, 1327, 1644, 1718, 1621, 1670, 1644, 1718, 1674, 1696, 1681, 1720, 1741 and 1788 are included under the topic Early Penner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Penner Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Penner include Penn, Pen, Penner and others.

Early Notables of the Penner family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir William Penn (1621-1670), an English admiral; and his son, William Penn (1644-1718), an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, early Quaker who receive a large tract of American land to satisfy a debt the king...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Penner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Penner Ranking

In the United States, the name Penner is the 7,583rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7] However, in Canada, the name Penner is ranked the 317th most popular surname with an estimated 13,990 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Penner family to Ireland

Some of the Penner family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Penner migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Penner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Daniel Penner, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [9]
  • Henry Penner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1765 [9]
  • Christian Penner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1765 [9]
Penner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henrietta Penner, aged 17, who landed in New York, NY in 1874 [9]
  • Heinrich Penner, aged 56, who landed in Nebraska in 1874 [9]
  • Erdman Penner, aged 9, who arrived in Nebraska in 1874 [9]
  • Eva Penner, aged 19, who landed in New York, NY in 1874 [9]
  • Anna Penner, aged 45, who arrived in Nebraska in 1874 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Penner migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Penner Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Penner, who arrived in Manitoba in 1874
  • Bernhard Penner, who landed in Manitoba in 1875
  • David Penner, who arrived in Manitoba in 1875
  • Aaron Penner, who landed in Manitoba in 1875

New Zealand Penner migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Penner Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Penner, Australian settler travelling from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia aboard the ship "Bolina" arriving in New Zealand in 1842 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Penner (post 1700) +

  • Jonathan Lindsay Penner (b. 1962), American actor, screenwriter, television personality, and film producer, known for producing and starring in the film The Last Supper,
  • Jonathan Penner (b. 1940), American fiction writer, born in Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Joe Penner (1904-1941), born József Pintér, an American vaudeville comedian
  • Lucille Recht Penner (b. 1942), American children's books writer
  • Dustin Penner (b. 1982), Canadian former professional NHL ice hockey player who played from 2005 to 2014
  • Frederick Ralph Cornelius "Fred" Penner CM OM (b. 1946), Canadian children's entertainer, known for Fred Penner's Place, aired on CBC in Canada from 1985 to 1997, recipient of Juno Award for Children's Album of the Year four times: in 1989, 2003, 2015 and 2018
  • Julie Penner (b. 1976), Canadian music producser for Stuart McLean's The Vinyl Cafe on CBC Radio and violinist who has played with The FemBots, Broken Social Scene, Do Make Say Think, Hylozoists, The Lowest of the Low and The Weakerthans
  • Jacob Penner (1880-1965), Russian-born, Canadian socialist politician, founder of the Social Democratic Party of Canada and the Communist Party of Canada
  • Jack Penner, Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for Emerson (1990-2007)
  • Barry Penner (b. 1966), Canadian politician, Attorney General of British Columbia (2010-2011)
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Penner 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: Dum clarum rectum teneam
Motto Translation: May I keep the line of right as well as of glory.

  1. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  6. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. "Surnames Meanings, Origins & Distribution Maps - Forebears." Forebears,
  9. 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)
  10. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook