The enticing Jenico.
Jenico is an old form of Ignatius which originated in Provence in medieval times.
It arrived in the English-speaking world in the fifteenth century, when a daughter of Jenico d’Artois married the Anglo-Irish aristocrat. Christopher Preston.
Jenico has been used ever since, particularly in the Preston family. They later became Viscounts of Gormanston.
One bearer, Jenico, 7th Viscount Gormanston, was a supporter of King James II. He was made an outlaw after James lost his crown to William and Mary.
A later, more respectable Jenico, Lord Gormanston was Governor of Tasmania.
Ignatius itself goes back to the days of Ancient Rome.
The original form was actually Egnatius. This is thought to be Etruscan in origin — and its original meaning is unknown.
It became Ignatius when it passed into Latin through association with ignis “fire.”
Thanks to an early saint of the name, Ignatius passed into general use in Catholic and Orthodox lands, and in due course developed many a variant form as it spread across Europe, such as the Croatian Ignac, Hungarian Ignác, French Ignace, Polish Ignacy, Dutch Ignaas, Lithuanian Ignas, German Ignatz, Italian Ignazio, and Portuguese Inácio.
It settled particularly well in Spain, usually in the forms Ignacio and Iñigo.
Ignatius de Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, was responsible for the further spread of the name among Catholics.
One was the Welsh architect, Inigo Jones (1573–1652). He was named after his father and, although today is always known as Inigo, he actually signed himself with another variant, Enego.
Probably his most famous works are the Queen’s House at Greenwich, and the Bauqeting House in Whitehall, London.
In America, it is the Spanish form Ignacio which sees the most use, while Inigo is the most popular form in the UK — not that that’s very much, as it is far from common.
Jenico is rarer and more unusual still, a great name in itself — as well as shortening rather nicely to Nico.
With conteporary zing, but plenty history and substance, Jenico is a name really on fire!