The surname of JENKINS was a baptismal name 'the son of John'. This surname was originally derived from the Hebrew given name YOCJANAN (Jehovah has favoured me with a son), and the name was adopted into the Latin (via Greek) as JOHANNES. This name has enjoyed enormous popularity in Europe, being given in honour of St. John the Baptist, precurser of Christ and of St. John the Evangelist, author of the fourth gospel, as well as others of the nearly one thousand saints of the name. There are numerous variant spellings of the surname, and it is known to every country in the world in different forms. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Early records of the name mention Janekyn de Sancto Iohanne 1260, County Dorset. William Jonkyn 1297 Wales. Robertus Jenkyn was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Jenkins (1598-1678) was the English composer born in Maidstone, Kent. He served as a musician to the Royal and noble families and composed a great number of fantasies for strings. In 1738, Robert Jenkins was a master mariner who claimed that his ear had been cut off by a Spanish coast guard in Havana precipitating a war between England and Spain known as 'The War of Jenkins Ear'. This name was taken to Scotland by settlers and John Junkyn was a tenant in Birnie, Moray in 1565. John Jenkin (Maltman) was burgess of Glasgow in 1584. Bartholomew Junkyne was burgess of Aberdeen in 1607. John Junkein appears as a merchant in Edinburgh in 1650 and Mr Robert Junkine was a minister of Abernethy in 1689. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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