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

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

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Fownes include Fowns, Fownes, Vownes, Faun, Faunce, Vaunce, Vaun, Fones, Foynes, Voynes, Phones, Phowns and many more.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 12th century when they held estates at Plymouth. They are believed to have been originally from Saxby Saphy in Worcestershire about 1000 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fownes research. Another 271 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1538, 1142, 1149, 1162, 1455, 1487, 1610 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Fownes History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 53 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fownes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Fownes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 127 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Fownes Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Fownes, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844

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  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The Fownes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Fownes 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 31 October 2012 at 11:35.

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