Show ContentsTennis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Tennis is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from the baptismal name for the son of Dennis, which was originally derived from the Latin Dionysius. In the religious naming tradition surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint.

Early Origins of the Tennis family

The surname Tennis was first found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early History of the Tennis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tennis research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1636, 1715, 1694, 1685, 1714, 1809, 1892, 1636, 1715, 1644, 1642, 1705, 1697, 1698, 1673, 1735, 1735, 1640, 1705, 1640 and 1645 are included under the topic Early Tennis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tennis Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Tennis have been found, including Tennyson, Tenison, Tennison and others.

Early Notables of the Tennis family (pre 1700)

Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tennis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Tennis family to Ireland

Some of the Tennis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 152 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Tennis migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Tennis, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :

Tennis Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Pieter Tennis, who landed in New York, NY in 1660 [1]
  • Sara Tennis, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1664 [1]
  • Abraham Tennis, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1691-1692 [1]
Tennis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter H Tennis, aged 34, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1845 [1]

Australia Tennis migration to Australia +

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

Tennis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Tennis, English convict who was convicted in Westminister, London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tennis (post 1700) +

  • Bernard C. Tennis, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for California, 1952
  • Al Tennis, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1940
  • Tennis Killen, American Republican politician, Chair of Logan County Republican Party, 1969-73, 1983; Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates 16th District, 1984 [3]

The Tennis 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: Nil Temere
Motto Translation: Not Rashly.

  1. 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)
  2. Convict Records of Australia. Retreived 26th January 2021 from
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook