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

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

The ancestors of the name Featherstone date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in the area that was named Featherstone which was in the counties of Staffordshire, the West Riding of Yorkshire and Northumberland. The surname Featherstone is a habitation name, which is a type of local name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case, the surname was originally derived from an ancient structure made of three light-weight stones that were found near the dwelling place of the original bearers.


Featherstone has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Featherston, Featherstone, Fetherstone, Featherstonhaugh, Featherstun, Fetherston, Featherstonaugh, Featherstonhoe, Fetherstonhoe, Fetherstunhaugh, Fetherstonaugh and many more.

First found in Northumberland at Featherstone Castle, a large Gothic style country mansion on the bank of the River South Tyne, near the town of Haltwhistle. The 11th century manor house belonged to the Featherstonehaugh family and dates back to the 13th-century. A square three-storey pele tower was added in 1330 by Thomas de Featherstonehaugh. The castle was held in good repair through the centuries as a survey from the year 1541 reported the property to be a tower in good repair and occupied by Thomas Featherstonehaugh. For a brief time, the castle was sold to Sir William Howard in the 17th century, but was repurchased from the Earl of Carlisle in 1711 by Matthew Featherstonehaugh (1662-1762).


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Featherstone research. Another 265 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1540, 1886, 1628, 1711, 1654, 1746, 1776, 1830 and 1923 are included under the topic Early Featherstone History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 117 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Featherstone Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Featherstone family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 113 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Featherstones to arrive on North American shores:

Featherstone Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Featherstone, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • John Featherstone, who arrived in Maryland in 1679

Featherstone Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary Featherstone, who arrived in Barbados in 1730
  • George Featherstone, who landed in New England in 1742

Featherstone Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • William Featherstone, who landed in New York in 1831
  • Thomas Featherstone settled in Pennsylvania in 1848


  • Robert Featherstone, American scientist and educator
  • Angela Featherstone (b. 1965), Canadian actress from Hamilton, Ontario, best known for playing Chloe in Friends
  • Donald "Don" Featherstone (1935-1957), American artist, best known for his 1957 creation of the Plastic Pink Flamingo
  • Michelle Featherstone, English-born, American singer-songwriter, recipient of mulitple awards from the Royal Academy of Music
  • Liza Featherstone (b. 1969), American journalist and journalism professor
  • Nicky Lee Featherstone (b. 1988), English professional footballer from Goole, England
  • James Featherstone (b. 1979), English footballer
  • Lynne Choona Featherstone (b. 1951), British Liberal Democrat politician, Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green
  • Sir Guthrie Featherstone, Queen's Counsel, Head of Chambers, and Judge in John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey
  • Glen Featherstone (b. 1968), retired Canadian NHL ice hockey defenceman



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Valens et volens
Motto Translation: Able and willing.


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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  5. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The Featherstone Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Featherstone 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 17 June 2014 at 06:29.

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