The surname of JENNETTE was a baptismal name 'the son of Johan or Jan'. An ancient font name. 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. Some of the principal forms of the name in other European languages are Evan, Ioan, Sean, Johann, Hans, Jan, Jean, Giovanni, Giannai, Vanni, Juan and Ivan. Early records mention Walter filius Jonet, 1297 County Surrey. Jonot (without surname) was documented in Yorkshire in the year 1308. John Ionet, Wakefield, Yorkshire, 1327. The name has many variant spellings which include JANET, JANNETT and JENET. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings. Later instances of the name include Robert, son of James JENNETT, who was baptised at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in the year 1615, and Richard JENNETT and Mary Colclough, were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1762. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name.
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