Google Books
Thanks to the folks at Google Books, many old, out-of-print reference sources that we would never have known about are now available again, and many are free.  Here are just some of the many books containing information about the history of the Jernegan/Jerningham family.  I can’t vouch for the accuracy of everything in the books, but the history seems well documented, and most books seem to agree on the basics.  I encourage you to explore much more on your own!

Jernegan/Jerningham Family and Somerleyton

  • Calendar of Charters and Rolls Preserved in the Bodleian Library – Lists the marriage settlement made during the reigh of Henry VIII, where John Jernegan contracts his son, George, in marriage to Ela, daughter of John Spelman.  There are numerous other Jernegan references, including one which names John Jernegan’s wife as Bridget. 
  • Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, An – By Francis Blomefield.  Lists the history of the estate of Cottessey (spelled Cossey here), which includes a history of the Jernegan family, complete with pedigree chart.  This link takes you several pages into the article, so you will need to scroll back a few pages for the full story.  Published 1805
  • Jerningham Letters, The (1780 – 1843) – A collection of letters by prolific letter-writer Lady Mary Jerningham, as well as her daughter, Lady Bedingfield.  They are from a generation much later than the direct ancestors of Thomas Jernigan, the immigrant, but still fascinating.  I’ve only skimmed the surface of this one.  Published 1896 
  • Record of the House of Gournay – By Daniel Gurney.  A history of the Gournay family.  Just a little mention of the Jernegans, one of whom married into the Gournay family.  It gives a little bit of information about the Jernegan/Gournay connection.  This is a great book to browse! 
  • Royal Descents and Pedigrees of Founders’ Kin – Shows descent of Jernegans from William Chichele, brother of Archbishop of Canterbury.  Good information for Jernegan descent, although I have seen differing information regarding the Chichele connection.  Published 1864 
  • Royal Illustrated History of Eastern England – By A.D. Bayne.  Gives some history of the Jernegan family, but also gives a description of the original house and gardens, built by Sir John Jernegan.
  • Stately Homes of England, The – By Llewellynn Frederick and William Jewett – Gives a history of Somerleyton, seat of the Jernegans.  Also gives a brief family history.  This link actually brings you to the second page of the article. 

Related Families


  • Visitacion of Norfolk, The – By William Harvey, Etc.  Lists the pedigree of the Spelman family.  They are likely ancestors of Thomas Jernigan, the immigrant.  George Jernegan married Ele Spelman, and they are both listed in the pedigree.  Published 1891

Other Links

  • Somerleyton Hall – The official website of Somerleyton.  For centuries, this was the home of the Jernegan family, including the likely direct ancestors of Thomas Jernigan, the immigrant.  The estate still exists, although the current building was largely redesigned and rebuilt in the 19th century, so no Jernegans actually lived in the current building.  Still, it is very interesting to see.  The estate is currently owned by the Crossley family.

4 thoughts on “Links

  1. Great site to explore. Some of my research initially indicated that Thomas arrived as you suggest. However, as I dug more for slivers of data, I’ve found other evidence that Thomas actually arrived in Virginia with his wife and sons in 1668. There’s significant evidence to suggest that he was a mariner and made several trips across the Atlantic before coming to settle in Nansemond County, VA, where he became a prominent land owner and delivered letters to the Carolinas for the government. I’ve captured some of my research on my webpage, Additionally, I’ve found a lot of data that confirms Sir Henry Jerningham was a most trusted confidant of Queen Mary I. He was granted land and title, including Costessey Manor, where he retired after Elizabeth released him from service following Mary’s death. His uncle, Sir John Jerningham was a exceptionally close to Henry the VIIIth, Mary’s father. John served prominently in the King’s court, present at Henry’s ‘Cloth of Gold’ expedition in France, and holding various diplomatic posts on behalf of the Crown. Finally, the current-day Somerleyton hall is built on the original foundations of the old estate manors. Lord Somerleyton was kind enough to allow me access to the cellars and foundations that once held the original Jernegan estate. My visit was truly amazing and one I shall never forget!


    1. Hi Mark – thank you for your comments. It’s always nice to hear from other Jernigan researchers out there. I have heard that Thomas Jernigan may have made more than one trip to the colonies – I’m hoping some records may still exist out there – and can be found – that can give us more information about him, his life and his origins. Another blog you may want to check out is called “Crimson Prose.” The author has done a lot of research into the English Jernegan/Jerningham family, looking through many records to piece as much together as he can. The site is Search for Jernegan or Jerningham and you should be able to find the Jernegan-related articles. Some articles are long, but it’s certainly worth the time since the author researched them in depth. It’s great to hear about your visit to Somerleyton! It certainly sounds like you had much more than the usual tourist experience. The fact that you had the chance to see a piece of the original estate must have been a pretty surreal experience. I will definitely check out your website – thanks again!


    2. Mark, I hope your website is still up and running. I was not able to access it. I wonder whether you have a family tree on one of the sites. I have done quite a bit of research, but am always looking for sources or verification. So many articles, books, and trees state “facts” without a resource. I’d love to learn more from you!


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