Jellicoe Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Jellicoe Surname Meaning

The Jellicoe surname was originally a nickname. One possible origin was gentilcorps, which translates as “handsome body.” Gentilcorps did in fact appear at an early time as a surname.

Another possibility is that the name was a combination of jolif meaning “jolly” or “spirited” and the suffix cocc or cock and described a young lad who strutted about like a cock. From Jolif-cock came Jellicoe.

Jellicoe Surname Resources on The Internet

Jellicoe Surname Ancestry

  • from England (Cheshire)
  • to Ireland and America

EnglandThe Jellicoe surname is not that common. There were only 300 Jellicoes recorded in the 1911 English census.

Cheshire.  The main numbers have been in Cheshire.  Some early spellings of the name there were as follows:

  • the will of James Jelicoe, yeoman, which was recorded at Chester in 1648
  • John Jolycoe who was a blacksmith at Great Barrow near Chester in 1667
  • and Mark Jelicour who lived at Handbridge near Chester in 1678.

Thomas Jellicoe was a cordwainer, Charles Jellicoe a baker, and John Jellicoe a shoemaker in Chester in the early 1700’s. Jellicoes at Neston date from the later 1700’s. The county of Cheshire in fact accounted for about 40% of all Jellicoes in England in the late 19th century.

Shropshire.  Jellicoes in Albrighton, Shropshire date from the early 1700’s. It was recorded in 1755 that a marriage was intended between Thomas Jellicoe and Sarah Jellicorse.

One branch moved to London where William Jellicoe was an upholsterer on Fleet Street. The Morning Chronicle reported in 1775: “Two footpads stopped Mrs. Jellicoe of Fleet Street in a post-chaise at the end of Grays Inn Lane and robbed her of her money.”

Hampshire.  The best-known Jellicoe – Sir John Jellicoe who commanded the British fleet at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 – came from Hampshire. His father John Henry Jellicoe, born in 1825, had been a captain of the Royal Mail Steam Packet company that operated out of Southampton. His son George who succeeded him to the earldom had an adventurous life.

“Lord Jellicoe was a larger-than-life figure: Second World War hero, Foreign Office high-flyer, Conservative politician and blue chip businessman. But though he was born into the high life (George V was his godfather), it was his brief entanglement with the low life that caused him to resign from government following a call-girl scandal in 1973. His fall from grace was inextricably linked in the public’s mind with the simultaneous sex scandal involving his fellow minister Antony Lambton.”  

Thomas Jellicoe, a rector at Chailey in Sussex, was a cousin of Sir John Jellicoe. His son Basil was founder of the St. Pancras Housing Association in London and of similar associations elsewhere. He toured the country in his small car fundraising for these projects.

Ireland. The Jellicoe name cropped up in Ireland. John Jellicoe, a flour miller, was recorded in Griffith’s Valuation in Clara, Offaly. His wife Anne was a prominent educationalist best known for the founding of Alexandria College in Dublin.

John F. Jellico, who won a silver medal in sailing in the 1908 London Olympics, was born in Limerick, the son of Nicholas and Catherine Jellico. This line probably went back to James Jellico, a shoemaker in Limerick in the 1760’s.

America. In Tennessee the name Jellico is a regional corruption of angelica, a herb that grows in abundance in the mountains of the state and gave its name to the Jellico mountains and the city of Jellico.

Jellicoe Names

  • Sir John Jellicoe, later 1st Earl Jellicoe, commanded the British fleet against Germany at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 during World War One. 
  • Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe who died in 1996 was considered the best-known English landscape architect of his generation.

Jellicoe Numbers Today

  • 500 in the UK (most numerous in Cheshire)
  • 200 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)





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Written by Colin Shelley

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