While the Jernigans have been a very “prolific” family in America since Colonial times, the family continued on back in England as well. While I don’t have a head count of the surviving Jernegan/Jerninghams in England today, we know there are still many descendants of the high-born Jernegans of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, even if their stature is not what it was, for the most part.
Some lines, however, have continued on in high places, including the peerage, even if the name itself has been absorbed into other families over the centuries. One such distant cousin is the 15th (and current) Baron Stafford, Francis Melfort William Fitzherbert. He was born in 1954, the son of the 14th Baron, Basil Francis Nicholas Fitzherbert and his wife Morag Nada Campbell.
In 2005, he was appointed High Sheriff for Staffordshire, the first peer to receive that appointment since the 14th century. He is married to Katherine Mary Codrington, and among their four children is the heir to the barony, Benjamin John Basil Fitzherbert (b. 1983). On December 10, 2011, the younger Fitzherbert married Georgina Rose Hewlett who, according to an article on wikipedia.com, is a former flatmate of Philippa (Pippa) Middleton, sister of the Duchess of Cambridge.
The common ancestor of both Francis Melfort William Fitzherbert and Thomas Jernigan, immigrant to Virginia, dates back to the early 16th century. Edward Jernegan was, with his first wife, Margaret Bedingfield, the direct ancestor of Thomas Jernigan. The ancestors of Baron Stafford are Edward Jernegan and his second wife, Mary Scrope.
- Edward Jernegan (1472 – 1515) = Mary Scrope (1476 – 1548)
- Henry Jerningham (1512 – 1572) = Frances Baynham (d. 1583)
- Henry Jerningham (1536 – 1619) = Eleanor Dacre (1526 – 1683)
- Henry Jerningham (d. 1646) = Eleanor Throckmorton
- John Jerningham (d. 1636) = Mary Moore
- Henry Jerningham (1619 – 1680) = Mary Hall (1622 – 1653)
- Francis Jerningham (1648 – 1730) = Anne Blount (1656 – 1735)
- George Jerningham (1680 – 1774) = Mary Plowden (1704 – 1785)
- William Jerningham (1736 – 1809) = Frances Dillon (1747 – 1825)
- George William Stafford Charles Jerningham (1771 – 1851) = Frances Henrietta Sulyarde (d. 1832)
- Edward Stafford-Jerningham (1804 – 1849) = Maryanne Smythe (d. 1859)
- Emily Charlotte Stafford-Jerningham (1835 – 1881) = Thomas Charles Fitzherbert (1869 – 1937)
- Basil Francis Nicholas Fitzherbert (1926 – 1986) = Morag Nada Campbell
- Francis Melfort William Fitzherbert (b. 1954) = Katherine Mary Codrington