Show ContentsFairenum History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Fairenum has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived 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 Fairenum was originally derived from the Old English words fearn + hamm which means a fern-covered homestead or property. [1]

Another source has a slightly different understanding of the name: "so called from the Saxon Fearn, fern, and ham, a habitation or village—the village in the place overgrown with fern." [2]

Early Origins of the Fairenum family

The surname Fairenum was 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. [3]

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. [4]

While one would suppose the surname originated from one or more of the aforementioned locals, another reference suggests we must look to Leicestershire, specifically Quorndon to find the surname's true origin as in "this ancient family was certainly seated at Quorndon two descents before the reign of Edward I." [5]

Early rolls point to many of the aforementioned counties of England: Richard de Farenham in the Pipe Rolls for Surrey in 1205; Robert de Farnham in the Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1219; and John de Farnam, listed a a Freeman of York in 1323. [6]

Early History of the Fairenum family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fairenum research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1312, 1483, 1636, 1642, 1665, 1666, 1753, 1784, 1832 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Fairenum History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fairenum Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Fairenum have been found, including Farnham, Farnhams, Farnhan, Fearnham, Farneham and others.

Early Notables of the Fairenum family

Notables of the family at this time include Richard Farnham (d. 1642), fanatic, "a weaver who came from Colchester to Whitechapel about 1636, where he and a fellow-craftsman, John Bull, announced that they were prophets inspired with 'the very spirit of God.' They claimed to be 'the two great prophets which should come...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fairenum Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fairenum family to Ireland

Some of the Fairenum family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Fairenum family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Fairenum, or a variant listed above: Thomas and Ralph Farnham who had came to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1634; as did Henry Farnham of Warwickshire, who settled there in 1644. Alice, Mary, and Ralph Farnham settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635.



  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  6. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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