Show ContentsPennock History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cornwall, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Pennock. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Pennock family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Pennock is a local type of surname and the Pennock family lived in Cornwall, in the parish of St. Pinnock. [1]

"Although this parish has its name graced with the prefix of saint, no records were ever known to have preserved his history. The name is in general supposed to be secular, to be founded upon local circumstances, and to have no immediate reference either to its church or tutelary guardian. At a time when Cornwall teemed with saints both native and imported, it seemed dishonorable for any district to be without one. Where a real one could not be procured, an artificial one might easily be found to supply his place. But even this easy mode was still capable of improvement. The situation of St. Pinnock is in the deanery and hundred of West. It lies about eight miles east-north-east from Lostwithiel, and about four west-south-west from Liskeard." [2] [3]

Two sources claims the name could have been derived from the Middle English word "pinnock," meaning "hedge-sparrow." [4] [5]

Early Origins of the Pennock family

The surname Pennock was first found in the parish of St. Hilary, Cornwall where "the manor of Tregurtha or Truthwall, which extends from this into some of the neighbouring parishes, belonged to the family of Penneck at the commencement of the last century (1700's.)

By the devisees of this family, this manor was sold to William Carne, Esq. and the late Thomas Grylls, Esq.; and it is now the property of the former, and of the representatives of the latter. Tregembo belonged formerly to the family of Grosse, from whom it passed by successive sales to King and Penneck. It was purchased by the latter in the year 1684; after which it became the residence of this family. It is now occupied by the Rev. Humphrey Williams. From Charles Penneck, Esq. this property passed to his two sisters, one of whom was married to the Rev. William Borlase, of Castle Horneck, and the other to John Bingham Borlase, M. D." [2]

Other early records of the family revealed Nicholas Pinnoch in the Pipe Rolls for Wiltshire in 1199 and Walter Pinnok in the Hundredorum Rolls for 1225, again in Wiltshire. [4]

Another source notes the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 also included William Pinnoc in Oxfordshire. [3] In Somerset, early records there show Roger Pynnock, 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III. [6]

Early History of the Pennock family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pennock research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1782, 1843, 1782, 1810, 1811, 1817, 1813, 1885, 1850, 1855, 1859, 1843, 1870, 1876, 1879 and 1885 are included under the topic Early Pennock History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pennock Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Pinnock, Pincock, Pinnick, Pinock, Pinoke and others.

Early Notables of the Pennock family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was William Pinnock (1782-1843), publisher and educational writer, baptised at Alton, Hampshire, on 3 Feb. 1782, was son of John and Sarah Pinnock, who were in humble circumstances. He began life as a schoolmaster at Alton. He next became a bookseller there, and wrote and issued in 1810-11 ‘The Leisure Hour: a pleasing Pastime consisting of interesting and improving Subjects,’ with explanatory notes, and ‘The Universal Explanatory Spelling Book,’ with a key and exercises. About 1811 he removed his business to Newbury. In 1817 he came to London, and, together with Samuel Maunder, bought...
Another 132 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pennock Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pennock Ranking

In the United States, the name Pennock is the 10,177th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

United States Pennock migration to the United States +

An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Pennock or a variant listed above:

Pennock Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Obediah Pennock, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [8]
Pennock Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Pennock, who landed in New England in 1714 [8]
Pennock Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Matthew Pennock, who landed in New York in 1844 [8]

Canada Pennock migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pennock Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Lieut. Samuel Pennock U.E., (Pennick) (b. 1741) born in Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut, USA from Strafford, Vermont, USA who settled in Elizabeth Town [Elizabethtown], Leeds County, Ontario c. 1784 he enlisted in 1777 serving in the Strafford Vermont Militia and Queens Rangers, married Mercy Chapman in 1763 having 9 children [9]

New Zealand Pennock 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:

Pennock Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Pennock, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Whitby" in 1841
  • Hannah Pennock, aged 30, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Hannah Pennock, aged 7, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • John Pennock, aged 2, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • William Pennock, aged 1, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Pennock (post 1700) +

  • Christopher Pennock (1944-2021), American actor, known for his roles in Frances (1982) and General Hospital (1963)
  • Alexander Mosely Pennock (1813-1876), officer of the United States Navy during the American Civil War
  • Stanley Bagg "Bags" Pennock (1892-1916), American football player
  • Herbert Jefferis Pennock (1894-1948), left-handed Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Michael Pennock, American politician, Representative from Minnesota 5th District, 1998 [10]
  • Mabel D. Pennock, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, 1930; Prohibition Candidate for Pennsylvania Secretary of internal affairs, 1934 [10]
  • John H. Pennock, American politician, Justice of New York Supreme Court 3rd District; Elected 1963 [10]
  • Evan T. Pennock, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1932 [10]
  • Adrian Barry Pennock (b. 1971), retired English footballer
  • Robert Pennock (b. 1936), Progressive Conservative party member of the Canadian House of Commons
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  6. 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.
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook