Mr. Nenad Menićanin gathered valuable data from various sources on the meaning, geography and genealogy of Janeš family name, and published his findings on the internet.
The most probable theory on the meaning of the Janeš family name is that it is derived from the Slovenian-Croatian word for anise, a flowering plant (Pimpinella anisum) known for it’s distinguished flavor.
It is a surname of a Slovenian origin that became a part of Croatian anthroponymic corpus. However, Janeš family name is still fairly common in Slovenia, although, in the Janež variant. There are several variants of Janeš surname found in various written records: Janos, Janes, Janesh, Jannesh, Janess and Janness.
The greatest number of persons bearing that surname in Croatia can be found in Gorski kotar region, and specifically in the town of Gerovo near Delnice. The oldest written record about a member of Janeš family dates from 1672. In a Catholic census from that year it had been recorded that a certain Michael Janesch settled in Čabar parish, after moving from Slovenian town of Idrija. Some historians claim that the formation of Čabar settlement occured due to the discovery of iron ore and it’s exploitation in a nearby mine.
Records show that the Janeš family hadn’t stayed very long in Čabar area. Towards the end of the 18th century they moved to Sisak, where a modern iron factory had been opened.
More on the Janeš family history can be found at the following page:
Image: Modzzak, Wikimedia Commons