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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the English Farnham family come from? What is the English Farnham family crest and coat of arms? When did the Farnham family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Farnham family history?

The Anglo-Saxon name Farnham comes from when the family resided at Farnham, in several different counties including Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex, Suffolk, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case the surname Farnham was originally derived from the Old English words fearn + hamm which means a fern-covered homestead or property.


The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Farnham has been recorded under many different variations, including Farnham, Farnhams, Farnhan, Fearnham, Farneham and others.

First found in one of the many villages names Farnham throughout England in the following counties or shires: Dorset, Essex, North Yorkshire, Suffolk, and Surrey. Farnham Common and Farnham Royal are located in Buckinghamshire. [1] The name has numerous listings in the Domesday Book with various spellings that were in use at the time: Fernham, Dorset; Phernham Essex; Fareham North Yorkshire; Farnham, Suffolk; and Fernham Surrey. Farnham Royal was listed as Fernham Riall. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Farnham research. Another 274 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1312, 1483, and 1753 are included under the topic Early Farnham History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Farnham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Farnham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 139 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Farnham or a variant listed above:

Farnham Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas and Ralph Farnham came to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Alice, Mary, and Ralph Farnham settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635
  • Henry Farnham of Warwickshire, settled in Massachusetts in 1644
  • Jos Farnham, who landed in Virginia in 1663

Farnham Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Farnham settled in Maryland in 1741

Farnham Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • C W Farnham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • S Farnham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • C N Farnham, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • J Farnham, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • George and W. Farnham settled in San Francisco, California in 1852


  • Roswell Farnham (b. 1827), American Governor of Vermont
  • Thomas Jefferson Farnham (1804-1848), American lawyer and author, who let an expedition across American to Oregon in 1839
  • Leon Farnham, American former manager of NASA operations
  • Joseph White Farnham (1884-1931), American playwright and a film writer and film editor
  • Eliza Farnham (1815-1864), 19th-century American novelist, feminist, abolitionist, and activist
  • Russel Farnham (1784-1832), American frontiersman, explorer, and fur trader
  • Brian Farnham, American journalist and editor in chief of Patch
  • Jeremiah W. Farnham (d. 1905), American merchant sailor and sea captain
  • Sally James Farnham (b. 1869), American sculptor
  • Mark Buddy Farnham (b. 1987), American football wide receiver



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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Farnham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Farnham Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 22 January 2014 at 23:45.

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