This very rare surname is a transposed form of the French patronymic "Jouhanin", translating as "Jouhan's (John) son". It is one of an estimated two thousand variations found throughout Europe which descend originally from the Hebrew "Yochanan", through the Greco - Roman "Johannes" of the 3rd century. The most popular "modern" form is probably "Jennings" but the spelling ranges from Johanikin or Johnikin (Irish) to Jenkin (English) and Zanettini or Gianetti (Italian) or even Ivaschenko in the Ukraine.the word "Johannes" itself translates as "The one who God has favoured" plus the Suffix "Kin", an early German diminutive which implies close relationships. The spelling form as "Jouhning" is a transposition, and may be deliberated to make the name appear more Dutch than German (Although the spelling does not seem to be recorded in either country), during the long periods when Britain was at war with France. Recordings are rare but examples include Thomas Jounning who married Elizabeth Dainty, by Civil license in London on December 1st 1657 in the "reign" of Oliver Cromwell (1653 - 1658) and John Henry Jouning, both at St. Johns wood, London, on September 20th 1840 and who married in December 15th 1867 in Parnell, New Zealand, one Betsy Bell, born in Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland on June 11th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thon Thonning, which was dated October 8th 1615, who married Elizebeth Phillips at St.Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1587 - 1625. 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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