Pennington History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Pennington comes from the family having resided in Lancashire at Pennington. Interestingly, two sources claim the name literally means "farmstead paying a penny rent." [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Pennington family

The surname Pennington was first found in Lancashire at Pennington, a parish, in the union of Ulverston, hundred of Lonsdale north of the Sands. "This place, which in Domesday Book is styled 'Pennigetun,' belonged to a local family, one of whom, Gamel de Pennington, was a very considerable person at the time of the Conquest. [3] From him descended Sir John Pennington, who commanded the left wing of the army in an expedition into Scotland under the Earl of Northumberland," [4]

By the time of Henry II, some of the family had branched to Muncaster in Cumberland (now part of Cumbria) and it was here that King Henry VI was concealed by Sir John Pennington in his flight from his enemies. [5]

"The ancient and influential knightly family of the Penningtons were lords of Pennington from the 11th century to the reign of Henry VI., a monarch who numbered Sir John de Pennington amongst his most trusted adherents. In the first quarter of the 17th century there was a gentle family of the name at Mitton Magna. The name is also established in Cheshire." [6]

Early History of the Pennington family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pennington research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1676, 1783, 1552, 1558, 1565, 1599, 1655, 1730, 1584, 1661, 1640, 1653, 1642, 1616, 1679, 1584, 1646, 1623 and 1682 are included under the topic Early Pennington History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pennington Spelling Variations

Pennington has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Pennington, Penington and others.

Early Notables of the Pennington family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Penington, High Sheriff of Cumberland in 1552, 1558 and 1565; Joseph Pennington of Muncaster Castle, High Sheriff of Cumberland in 1599; and Sir William Pennington (1655-1730), 1st Baronet. Sir Isaac Penington (1584-1661), was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1653, Lord Mayor of London in 1642 and a prominent member of Oliver Cromwell's government...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pennington Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pennington Ranking

In the United States, the name Pennington is the 732nd most popular surname with an estimated 39,792 people with that name. [7]

United States Pennington migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Penningtons to arrive on North American shores:

Pennington Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John and Robert Pennington, who arrived in Virginia in 1606
  • William Pennington, aged 18, who landed in Bermuda in 1635 [8]
  • Henry Pennington, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [8]
  • Alice Pennington, who arrived in Maryland in 1674 [8]
  • Rachel Pennington, who arrived in Maryland in 1677 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Pennington Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John and Sarah Pennington, who arrived in Baltimore in 1775
Pennington Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Eliza A Pennington, aged 19, who arrived in New York in 1864 [8]
  • George Pennington, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1865 [8]
Pennington Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Pennington, aged 46, who immigrated to America from Kent, in 1903
  • Ch. John Pennington, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from St. Helens, England, in 1913
  • Catherine Pennington, aged 58, who landed in America from Stafford, England, in 1914
  • Alfred Pennington, aged 19, who settled in America, in 1919
  • Alfred Pennington, who landed in America from Liverpool, in 1919
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Pennington migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pennington Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. James Pennington U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [9]

Australia Pennington migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Pennington Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Richard Pennington, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Vincent Spencer Pennington, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [11]
  • Mr. William Pennington, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for 15 years transported aboard the "Forfarshire" on 24th June 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • John Pennington, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [13]
  • William Pennington, who arrived in Sydney aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1849 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Pennington 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:

Pennington Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Pennington, British settler as part of the 8th Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Oriental Queen" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th September 1849 [15]
  • Mrs. Rose Pennington, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Oriental Queen" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th September 1849 [15]
  • John Pennington, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863 [16]
  • Margaret Pennington, aged 25, a housemaid, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884

West Indies Pennington 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. [17]
Pennington Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. William Pennington, (b. 1617), aged 18, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [18]

Contemporary Notables of the name Pennington (post 1700) +

  • Ramon Daniel "Ray" Pennington (1933-2020), American country music singer, songwriter, and record producer, best known for writing the Waylon Jennings song "I'm a Ramblin' Man"
  • Richard Pennington (1947-2017), American Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, Louisiana (1994-2002) and Chief of the Atlanta Police Department in Atlanta, Georgia (2002-2010)
  • Arthur David "Superman" Pennington (1923-2017), American All Star Negro League baseball player in the 1940s
  • Brad Lee Pennington (b. 1969), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Ann Pennington (1893-1971), American actress, dancer, and singer in the Ziegfeld Follies
  • Alexander Cummings McWhorter Pennington Jr., (1838-1917), American brigadier general, veteran of both the American Civil War and Spanish-American Wars
  • John L Pennington (1821-1900), American politician, Governor of Dakota Territory
  • Irene Wells Pennington (1898-2003), American widow of a Claude B. "Doc" Pennington, a wealthy oilman from Louisiana had an estimated fortune of $600 million in the late 1990's
  • James WC Pennington (1809-1870), American minister and abolitionist
  • James Pennington, American musician and DJ
  • ... (Another 15 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Pennington 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: Vincit amore patria
Motto Translation: My beloved country will conquer.

Suggested Readings for the name Pennington +

  • With Their Own Bloos: a Saga of Southwestern Pioneers by Virginia Culin Roberts.
  • Ancestors & Descendants of Wheeler Pennington: Monroe County West Virginia by Richard Allan Blake.

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  11. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1834 with 230 passengers. Retrieved from
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2022).
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from
  14. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "MADAWASKA" 1849. Retrieved from
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  16. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 7th November 2010). Retrieved from
  17. ^
  18. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from on Facebook