Origin, Meaning, Family History and Jensen Coat of Arms and Family Crest
This is a Scandinavian or Nordic patronymic or baptismal surname meaning “the son of Jens”. Jens is a personal (first) name that was given to males in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, North Germany, and areas of Frisia in medieval times and the Middle Ages, itself a shortened/reduced form of the masculine given name Johannes (a medieval Latin name which traces back to a Greek name which itself derives from the Hebrew name Yehochanan, meaning Yahew, or God, is gracious). The Jensen family motto is Suum cuique et alterum non laedere, which is Latin for “To each his own, and not to injure”.
Foreign equivalents of the first name Jens include John (English and Welsh), Evan (Welsh), Shane (Ireland), Ian (Scottish), Jean (French), Ivan (Russia), Giovanni (Italian), and Janus (Poland). Spelling variants of the last name include Jennsen, Jenssen, Jansen, Jenzen, Joensen, Jeansen, Jehnsen, and Jaensen.
The name is very common in the following counties in Europe: Denmark (2nd), Norway (9th), Sweden (119th), Greenland (3rd), Faroe Islands (15th), and Iceland (617th).
As of the 2000 US Census, the last name Jensen ranks 244th in terms of popularity. The name ranks in the top 100 in the following states: Utah (4th), South Dakota (9th), Idaho (14), Nebraska (15th), Minnesota (22nd), North Dakota (22nd), Iowa (23rd), Montana (30th), Wisconsin (37th), Wyoming (41st), and Alaska (54th), Washington (52nd), Oregon (60th), Nevada (90th), and Colorado (98th).
The name ranks as follows in other English-speaking nations: Canada (349th), Australia (333rd), New Zealand (221st), South Africa (2,002nd), England (2,443rd), Wales (3,358th), Ireland (2,190th), Scotland (2,871st), and Northern Ireland (2,801st).
There have been numerous notable/famous people throughout history with this popular last name, including, but not limited to: 1) Peter L. Jensen (1886-1962) who was a pioneer in the field of fidelity sound equipment that invented the first loud speaker, having been born in the Danish island of Falster, the founder of Jensen Loudspeakers, 2) Jens Jensen (1860-1951) who was a Danish-American landscape architect best known for his prairie style work, and had collaborates with others such as Albert Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright, 3) Martin Jensen (1978) who was an Danish football (soccer) player born in Esbjerg who played for several teams from 1996-2018, 4) Rasmus Jensen (died 1620) was a Danish Lutheran priest and the first Lutheran cleric operating in Canada, 5) Wilhelm Hermann Jensen (1837-1911) who was a German writer and poet born in Holstein who is chiefly remembered for the novella Gradiva, 6) Alexander Viggo Jensen (1874-1930) who was the first Danish Olympic gold medalist, having won the two hand lift in Athens in 1896, as well as a shooter and gymnast, 7) Steven Allan Jensen (1955) who was a professional hockey player born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and plated in the NHL and WHA from 1975 to 1986 for teams such as the Minnesota North Star and Vancouver Blazers, 8) Ruben Yttergård Jenssen (1988) who is a professional Norwegian football (soccer) player who began playing in 2006 and had last made the national team in 2010, 9) Roald Jensen (1943-1987) who was a professional soccer player from Bergen known as “Kniksen” who played from 1960 to 1973 for Brann and Heart of Midlothian, and 10) Roger Jensen (1933-2001) who is considered to be the first person to have actively photographed storms beginning.
Some of the earliest immigrants bearing this surname include Peter Jensen (Missouri 1840), Peder Jensen (New York 1843), Emma Jensen (New York 1850), and Trol Conrad Jensen (New York 1850). In 1868, Johann Jensen, age 33, arrived in Quebec, Canada. In 1870, a family bearing this name came to the city of Wellington, New Zealand aboard the Halcione. This included husband and wife, Mathias and Karen M. Jensen, both 34 years old at the time, as well as their children: Peter H., Ano J., and perhaps Hans.
Jens Peter Jensen was born in Essa, Denmark in 1879. He married Tomina Hoakson and had the following issue with her: Matilda, Martina A. (Benstead), Anders C., Andrew C., Cinius M., Lilia, and Bernice.
Knud Jensen was born in Nilose, Merlose, Holbaek in 1763. He married Karen Michelsdatter and later Sidse Christensdatter. He had a son named Jens Knudsen who was born in Lynge in 1811.
A one Bent Jensen Neb was born in Stemagle, Denmark around 1300 AD. He was the son of Jens Hemmingsen Neb who was born in Vehle Kobst in 1268 AD, and the grandson of Hemming Nielsen Neb who was born in Denmark around 1236 AD. He was the great grandson of Niels Uffesen Neb who was born around 1200 AD, himself the son of a man named Uffe who was born around 1170 AD.
Jensen Coat of Arms Meaning
Two heraldic symbols depicted within the Jensen family crests are the antler and goat, each with their own meaning. In the medieval period there was no real perceived difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The goat is a typical example of these. Guillim, writing in the 17th century suggested that it may represent a “martial man who wins victory by…policy [rather] than valour”, a diplomat by any other name. In Greek mythology, the goat was associated with the gods Pan and Dionysius and represented unbridled nature and the forest, as well as lust for the former, and fertility/drinking for the later. It is thought this animal can signify winning in politics with wit instead of violence and confrontation.
The magnificent antlers of the stag are known in heraldry as attires, which can appear as a charge on their own (usually with part of the scalp attached), or a stag may be attired of a different color. Like many similar forest creatures, stags and their antlers are probably intended to represent pleasure taken in the hunt. They are said to represent fortitude and strength. In parts of the ancient world such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Assyria, antlers were used as symbols of divine power.