This is an English and Welsh surname of some considerable antiquity. It derives from the medieval given name Jenkin, itself a diminutive of John meaning "god has graced me with a son", and introduced by returning Crusaders from the Holy Land in the 12th century. To this was been added the diminutive suffix "-kin", indicating young John, or perhaps son or relative of John. There are a number of variant forms of the surname in the modern idiom, including Jenkin, Jenkyn and Jenking, Jencken, Jinkin and Junkin, as well as the patronymic forms where an "-s" has been added to the surname. This is a short form of "son of". The early recordings in both England and Wales include Richard Jenkins in the Subsidy Tax rolls of the county of Worcestershire for 1327, whilst David Jenkins (1582 - 1663), the Welsh judge and royalist, was captured by the parliamentarians at Hereford, and imprisoned until the Restoration of King Charles 11nd in 1660. Wales was particularly royalist throughout the 17th century, which seems at odds with the later non conformist attitudes of the country. A coat of arms granted to the family of Jenkins of Charlton Hill in Shropshire, has the blazon of a gold field charged with a black lion rampant reguardant. Their motto is "Perge sed cante", which translates as "Advance, but cautiously". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Janekyn. This was dated 1296, in the Subsidy Ta x rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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