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About the study

I was introduced to genealogy by my mother-in-law in 1996, she'd been researching her ancestry for several years and she soon had me hooked into the family tree bug and inspired to trace my own roots. I started with my Mum's line as my ancestors in my maternal grandmother's line had lived in my home vicinity, the Isle of Wight, for several generations, so it was easy to find records for them at my local records office.  My Dad and his direct ancestors were from London and having a young family I wasn't able to travel the distance to repositories further afield  so I had to wait until our family got our first computer in 2000, when I was able to make use of the internet, to start researching my paternal line, the Gannaways. I often noticed the Gannaway name cropping up in records for the Isle of Wight and just across the water in Southampton and wondered if there was a connection to my family as I knew the name was unusual. I began to think about collecting information for these families to see if I could find a link to my ancestors, then in  December 2016, I decided to broaden that vision out and embark on a one-name study for the Gannaway name and variants.

I now have a database of Gannaway births, marriages and deaths in England from 1837 - 1977 and have also collected all the occurrences of the name I can find from the 1841, 1851 and 1861  U.K census and have started to use that information to build trees.  I plan to continue collecting data and building trees first in the U.K and then the rest of the world, gradually including all variations of the name.



Variant names

Janaway, Janeway, Jannaway, Janway, Jennaway

Name origin

The Internet Surname Database states:

"This unusual and interesting surname is an early medieval English name, originally denoting an Italian national, someone from Genoa in the province of Liguria. The name "Janaway(s)" is the medieval English spelling of the Old French word "Genoveis", meaning a Genoese, in Italian, "Genovese". Genoa was an important seaport in the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages and there was a busy trade with England especially in silks and spices. Consequently merchants and master mariners from Genoa were to be found in all the costal and trading towns of Europe. There is some indication that the name "Janaway" was used as a nickname for a clever, resourceful person, since this was the opinion held of the Genoese in medieval times. The modern surname can be found recorded as Jan(n)away(s), Jan(e)way, Gannaway and Jennaway. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Janna, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Kent", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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