This unusual surname is English, but is said to be cognate with the Scottish patronymics Ianson and Iainson. It derives from the male given name Iain, from the Gaelic Eoin, itself a form of the Hebrew John. Ian or Iain is also pronounced like Jan, the Dutch version of John, and consequently Janson and I'anson frequently appear together in the same records. Examples include John Janson or I'anson, in the Register of the Freemen of the city of York, dated 1569 to 1673. Derived ultimately from Jochanan meaning "Jehovah has favoured me with a son", the name owes its popularity amongst Christians to two important New Testament characters: These were John the Baptist, Christ's cousin, and St. John the Evangelist, known as the "Beloved Disciple". Some of the principal forms of this enormously popular given name in Britain are the Welsh Evan and Ioan; Scottish Iain, Ian, and Eoin; and the Irish Sean or Shaun. Examples of recordings include that on January 24th 1608, of Margaret Ianson, who was christened at Kendal in Westmorland, and on December 24th 1759, John I'anson and Jane Evans who were married at St. Mary's, Nottingham. John Bankes I'anson, the rector of Corfe Castle in Dorset, died on October 28th 1799. A coat of arms granted to the I'anson family has the blazon of a shield divided quarterly azure and red, charged with a cross patonce and a gold chief. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James I'anson, given as being a sea captain. This is dated 1509, in the records of Hawkeswell, in Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry V111th,1509 - 1547. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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