The Jenkins coat of arms isdescribed heraldically as:
Arms: Per pale azureand sable, three fleur-de-lis or; Crest: A battle axe, handled or, headedproper; Motto: “Perge sed caute.”
Writers of the past haveattributed symbolism to the tinctures and charges of heraldry - thus, azure(blue) is said to denote Loyalty, sable (black) denotes Wisdom, and or(gold) denotes Generosity. The motto may be translated as “Go forward, butcautiously.”
As with all very oldfamilies, it is impossible to trace the countless branches that becomeestablished over the centuries. However, these arms are typical of thoseearly designs with which warriors decorated their shields to identifythemselves in battle. The fleur-de-lis has since ancient times been theemblem of France, and often suggests a connection with that country. It isprobable that the progenitor of the family in Britain came during the Normaninvasion in 1066.
The surname Jenkinsis an old family name that is frequently found in Wales, as well as England.One reference states that the family is of Flemish origin, originally beingknown as “Jonkin,” meaning “Son of John,” the name “John” being derived fromthe Old French “Johan.”
The earliest-foundmention of this family dates back to 1288, where the name “Jonkin” is listedon the Assize rolls of Cheshire. Other early records mention Richard Jenekynin the Sussex Subsidy Rolls of 1296, but by the early fourteenth century thename appears as “Jenkins,” for a Richard Jenkins is listed on the SubsidyRolls of Somerser for the year 1327.
History pays just tributeto the many persons bearing this old distinguished family name who attaineddistinction during the past thousand years, for many descendants of thisfamily have occupied the highest positions in England, as well as Wales. Manyoutstanding statesmen came from its ranks, and public service is a familyvirtue.
John Jenkins (1592-1678)was the earliest-known English composer of instrumental music. But the firstperson bearing the Jenkins family name to settle in the New World was yetanother John Jenkins, who came to America from Wales in 1642 and settled inVirginia. He was a colonel in the State Militia and held several publicoffices. He later became the Governor of North Carolina. Once genealogistregards him as the progenitor of the Jenkins family in the United States.
Today, persons bearingthis proud old family name are to be found in almost every section of thecountry, and they are well represented in the arts, sciences, andprofessions, as well as in the world of commerce. To those seeking moredetailed information, the following reference may prove helpful and interesting:
“Burke’s General Armory,”published by Harrision & Sons, London, 1884
“Fairbaim’s Book ofCrests of Great Britain Ireland,” published by T.C. & E.C. Jack, London,1905
Based on informationfrom Morris Bros., deVillers & Co, Inc. 254 West 34th Street,New York, New York.