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

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

The Fetherston name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in the area that was named Featherstone which was in the counties of Staffordshire, the West Riding of Yorkshire and Northumberland. The surname Fetherston 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.

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Fetherston has undergone many spelling variations, including 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).


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fetherston 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 Fetherston History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Fetherston 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.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Fetherston were among those contributors:

Fetherston Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Fetherston, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Ellen Fetherston, who landed in Virginia in 1642

Fetherston Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Luke Fetherston, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835

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  • Sir Ralph Fetherston (1731-1780), 1st Baronet of Ardagh, County Longford
  • Sir Thomas Fetherston (1759-1819), 2nd Baronet, MP for Longford (1801 to 1819)
  • Sir George Ralph Fetherston (1784-1853), 3rd Baronet, MP for Longford (1819 to 1830)
  • Sir Thomas Francis Fetherston (1800-1853), 4th Baronet
  • Sir Thomas John Fetherston (1824-1869), 5th Baronet
  • Sir George Ralph Fetherston (1852-1923), 6th Baronet, whose Baronetcy became extinct on his death


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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. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. 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.
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Fetherston Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Fetherston 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 23 May 2014 at 13:37.

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