The family name of "Jennett" is most prevalent in England, Scotland, the United States and in northern Europe. It has many variants, such as "Jenet", "Jennet", "Jennetts", "Genet", "Jonet", "Ginnett", "Gennett" and "Jinnett", among others. The name historically might have been derived from a variant of the name "Jan" for some Jennett lines. However, the name "Jennett"/"Jenet" also is a confirmed Norman family name.
For the listing of "Walter, William Gent" in the Rotuli Hundredorum referenced above in The Norman People, the source listing is shown on page 539 of Volume II of the RH (Edw. I) as "Wal"rm G'net". The first name is unclear and may be either a Walter or a William, but the surname is "G'net", not "Gent". The location appears to be in Long Stow Hundred, near Gamelingeye (now Gamlingay), South Cambridgeshire, England.
One line of Jennetts held coats of arms that were variants of two chevrons and six martlets. They lived primarily in Yorkshire and in Worcestershire, from the 14th through the 17th centuries. The coat of arms of one Humffrey Jennett of Feckenham, Worcestershire was adopted by a William Cookes as his own when he married Humffrey's daughter Anne and this Jennett coat of arms later became the coat of arms of Worcester College, University of Oxford.
YDNA testing of Jennetts in the United States has revealed that there are two primary Jennett YDNA Haplogroups: Haplogroup I1 and Haplogroup R1. For an explanation of YDNA testing and haplogroups, see this Worldfamilies.net site. The Jennetts of Haplogroup I1 appear to have migrated to the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the U.S. from England beginning in the 17th-18th centuries, possibly as part of the first Quaker colonies centered around Burlington, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Jennetts of Haplogroup R1 appear to have migrated to the states of Virginia and North Carolina in the 17th and 18th centuries. A large concentration of R1b Jennetts can be found from the 1700's onward in Hyde, Tyrell and Perquimans counties in North Carolina and on Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It is not clear from where the R1b Jennetts migrated to the U.S., but the likely origin points are England, Scotland and/or France.
Further genealogical and YDNA research will be required in order to begin to identify the various Jennett family lines, make connections between family lines and ascertain likely geographic origins of individual family lines. One goal of this study is to attempt to identify the YDNA haplogroup of the armigerous Jennett lines found in Yorkshire and Worcestershire from the 14th to 17th centuries. This information may help determine if the I1 Jennetts or the R1 Jennetts were related to the Yorkshire, Worcestershire and/or London Jennetts. Links are provided below to FamilyTreeDNA and other providers of YDNA tests and male Jennetts are encouraged to have their YDNA tested and provide the results to the Jennett DNA Project. Hopefully Jennett descendants worldwide (and particularly Jennett descendants of the Yorkshire, Worcestershire and London Jennetts) will contribute their genealogical research and YDNA results to this study in order to further the research efforts and resolve some these questions.
The Jennett One-Name Study webpage is located at www.jennett.org. It also can be reached at www.jennettone-namestudy.com. A 36-page document containing Jeff JInnett's genealogical and YDNA research notes can be downloaded from the website. GEDCOM charts for the Ginnetts of colonial Burlington, New Jersey and for the Jennetts of Norgrove Court, Feckenham, Worcestershire, England also can be downloaded. A chart of Jeff JInnett's paternal line back to Henry Jinnett of North Carolina also can be downloaded.