The English surname Jernigan, mainly found in Suffolk, is of patronymic origin. The name is of Breton origin, probably identical with the Old Breton personal name Iarnuuocon meaning “iron famous,’ taken to East Anglia by Bretons at the time of the Norman Conquest. The name is first recorded in Norfolk in 1188 and was brought to the US in the 18th Century. A notable bearer of the name was Aaron David Jernigan (1813 – 1891) was the first settler of what is now Orange County, Florida. Originally from Georgia, he lived for a time in the Tallahassee area before moving to Orange County in 1843. He was influential in the city of Orlando's early development; the town was called Jernigan until 1857. Today there are approximately 15,000 bearers of the name Jernigan in the US.
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