meaning and origins
Although now, largely considered to be a Welsh name, the name actually has its origins in Engish. It is a double diminutive - i.e. Jenkin was originally a forename meaning son of John or little John. The ‘kin’ bit is a Flemish import. (other examples are Perkin, Hopkin, Watkin). Later, a son of Jenkin would take his father’s name as a surname, and add the s to show he was the son - double diminutive! It is apparently almost unknown in north west Wales.
Jenkin, Jenkins, Jenkyn, Jencken, Junkin
distribution in England and Wales
In 1891 the Jenkins’ were indeed concentrated in Wales - and particularly Glamorgan and Monmouthshire, followed by the adjacent counties of Carmarthen and Cardigan. Then of course there is always London.
A grandmother who was never known or known about, from the beautiful countryside of Glamorgan where the family seems to have originated. A distant ancestor with the tantalising name of Lazarus with a wife with the name of one of Wales’ most distinguished families - the Turbevilles, though he was but a poor agricultural labourer. Not much is known about the next generation, but the great grandfather (John) is trackable - a wandering man - at least around South Wales.
So country people - the peasants who kept the rural economy of Wales going, and the aristocrats in their country estates, furnished with food - and money.