This interesting and unusual name is a dialectal variant from the Middle English given name Jenk, itself being a back-formation of the personal name Jenkin, which is a diminutive of the given name John with the removal of the supposed Anglo-Norman-French diminutive suffix -in. Early recordings of the surname from the London Church Registers include; Robert Genge, who married Margaret Rose on October 16th 1681, at St. Mary's, Marylebone Rd., on February 21st 1698, William Genge married Sarah Welden at St. Mary's, Somerset; also at St. Mary's, Somerset, on February 23rd 1808, Sophia Genge married Thomas Courtney and on August 21st 1825, twins Richard and Esther, son and daughter of John and Ester Genge, were christened at St. Andrew's, Holborn. In the modern idiom, the name is also found as Jancks, Jenks, Jen(c)kes, Janks and Jinks. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Jenks, Oxfordshire, which was dated 1542, in the "Cartulary of Oseney Abbey", during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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