St-Mary's Church Wappenham in Northamptonshire UK
February 2008, Edition 34 Jerrems Family Newsletter, Edition 35
A Jerrams by Any Other Name May Still be a Jerrems
Dear Donald,
We have some breaking news on the genealogy front, thanks to two new subscribers/contributors: Sandra Walcyk, Manlius, New York and Sarah Papageorge formerly from upstate New York.

Ray's Reminder: Place the mouse pointer over the photos on, to display photo caption. Works well.

Ray's quest for "Universal Truth" is so Einsteinian.


When is a Jerrams a Jerrems?
Ray Jerrems, Jerrems Genealogist, Historian and Internet Sleuth   New News on Old News Wappenham from Church tower
In the previous edition of the Journal we referred to emails received from Sandra and Sarah. The big news is that Sandra has traced another branch of the Jerrems family back to the UK.

Previously I had located references to what I thought were possibly three separate families in the USA, in addition to the families in the US who traced back to William George Jerrems. It now transpires that these three families were actually a single family, and there was a further part of that family in the US which I had not previously located. Sandra has now capped this off by identifying that the family had come from Wappenham (in Northamptonshire) in the UK. Pictured.

There are a lot of stories to be told about Sandra and Sarah's research, which I will relate to you in future Journals. But I will start with telling you the most exciting development, how some of the Wappenham family acquired the name Jerrems.

In my search for universal truth I have looked forward to finding other Jerrems families in the UK or Europe, hoping that this would give me some indication of where the Jerrems name originated.

Readers may remember that in early editions of the Journal it was suggested that the name Jerrems dated back to St Jerome. This is quite likely, but it is difficult to prove. A popular story is that the Jerrems families were oppressed Huguenots who fled to England in the 1600s or early 1700s and may have anglicised their surname to Jerom, but later changed the name back to the original "Jerrems".

This theory came from the only previously established fact, that in the 1750s William Jerom specifically had his children christened with the surname Jerrems. I have a copy of a baptismal certificate showing the change. This family later moved to nearby Gainsborough.

Turning to the "new" family located by Sandra from a family tree devised by Raymond Lloyd of South Wales (thanks Raymond!), in summary this tree refers to:

(1) B. Jerromes (1723-1787), wife E. Phillips (1725- 1792)
(2) Thomas Jerromes (1754-1834), wife Elizabeth Branson (1753-1820)
(3) William Jerrams (born 1778 Wappenham, Northampton, died 1859 Helmdon, 5 miles from Wappenham)

First wife Elizabeth Pitman (1772-1809)
Children: Anne Jerrams (1802-?)
William Jerrams (1804-?), wife Amelia
Martha Jerrams (1806-?)
Mary Ann Jerrams (1808-?), husband Richard Pedley

Second wife Hannah Needle (1782-1829)
Children John Jerrams (1810- 1860) died in Coleshill, Warwickshire, wife Mary Gardner
James Jerrams (born 1812, migrated to United States)
Joseph Jerrams (born 1814, migrated to United States)
George Jerrams (1816-1872) died in Helmdon, Northampton), wife Elizabeth
Thomas Jerrams (1821-1832) died in Wappenham)
Elizabeth Jerrams(1823-?), husband Anthony Cross, child Thomas Jerrams Cross b1841

All the children were shown as being born in Wappenham.

The crucial development is that James and Joseph showed their surnames to be "Jerrems" in the US. James was consistent with this, but Joseph had occasional lapses of memory, sometimes still calling himself Jerrams. Significantly, they both gave all their children the surname Jerrems. Joseph, in particular, was a carpenter so he, at least, was probably literate.

Adding to this, while searching for Jerrems families in the UK I found a cluster of 3 additional people named Jerrems in towns very close to Wappenham, indicating that at least one of the brothers of James and Joseph who reached adulthood and married (i.e. William, John or George) had also changed their names to Jerrems or had at least named their children Jerrems. These three additional people were:

Lucy Jerrems, born about 1855 in Middleton Cheney, 16km from Wappenham
Caroline Jerrems, married in December 1872 in Brackley, 13 km from Wappenham. Possibly sister of Lucy.
Henry Jerrems born in March 1873, Buckingham, 18 km from Wappenham.

So now we have records of people named Jerromes who changed their names to Jerrams and then finally to Jerrems.

So where does this leave us? Does this shed light on the origin of the name Jerrems?

I must admit that at this juncture I cannot see that we are any further ahead. But it is no doubt significant that James and Joseph, and at least one of their brothers, made a specific decision to change their surnames to the far less common "Jerrems".

On a lighter note, perhaps the original Jerrems people who fled to England from France had a recessive gene which caused dyslexia, leading to accidental name changes in later generations.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject.

Editors Notes: Images of Wappenham in Northamptonshire in the UK featured in this issue. Place mouse cursor over image for description.

William George Jerrems is one of the family who migrated from England to Australia in the 1850s and later migrated to the US.

All in the Name
  We, the Strong, the Handsome, the Beautiful, the Smart, the Brave, the Compassionate, the Few, the Jerrems. Wappenham - long time ago
In the spirit of the above, let's remember Ray's words from JJ Edition 3 dated September 2005.

"On a light note, in future when someone asks you where the name "Jerrems" comes from, don't shuffle your feet and look embarrassedly at the floor, or scratch your ear and look at the ceiling for inspiration.

"No way! Look the person straight in the eye and say in a firm authoritative voice: "The name Jerrems comes from the old French family, Jerome, which dates back to medieval times" (medieval times are very fashionable at the moment)."

"If you feel sufficiently confident that you can pronounce "Huguenot" correctly, you could add that a part of the Jerome family were Huguenots who migrated to England in the late 17th Century.

"Practice it in front of the mirror, it works wonders.

Donald Jerrems, All-purpose Editor/Janitor of the Jerrems Journal   Solicitations for Future Editions - Royalty Free Only
Just a note to say that Ray and I are always on the lookout for a good Jerrems story or digital image.

We would like to resume the "Remember Us" series, in which we feature old images from long-ago ancestors. Please submit to me.

The Jerrems Journal - a journey from the past up to the present - is our record for future generations.


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