Show ContentsFanshawe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Fanshawe dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived at Fanshawe Gate Hall in the county of Derbyshire. [1]

Another source notes that name was derived from "fane, a temple or church, and shaw, a small wood or grove, a thicket—the church in the grove." [2]

Early Origins of the Fanshawe family

The surname Fanshawe was first found in Derbyshire. The family held high distinction at Fanshawe Gate from early times. This was the site where Thomas Fanshawe (1533-1601), the Queen's Remembrancer and his descendants hailed.

Earlier John ffawnchall, Fanshawe was listed here in 1490. [1]

Very little is known of the earlier lineage apart from the fact that he was the eldest son of John Fanshawe of Fanshawe Gate and had an uncle name Henry Fanshawe. In addition to Fanshawe Gate, he held estates in Ware Park, Hertfordshire and Jenkins, in Barking, Essex; presumably some were inherited through the family.

Early History of the Fanshawe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fanshawe research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1533, 1569, 1596, 1601, 1608, 1616, 1621, 1625, 1661, 1665, 1666 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Fanshawe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fanshawe 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 Fanshawe have been found, including Fanshaw, Fanshawe and others.

Early Notables of the Fanshawe family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Thomas Fanshawe (1533-1601), English Remembrancer of the Exchequer
  • Sir Henry Fanshawe (1569-1616), an English Remembrancer of the Exchequer
  • Thomas Fanshawe, 1st Viscount Fanshawe KB (1596-1665), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1621 and 1661, supporter of the Royalist cause in the English Civil War
  • Sir Richard Fanshawe, 1st Baronet (1608-1666), an English poet and translator

Migration of the Fanshawe 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 Fanshawe, or a variant listed above: Richard Fanshaw who settled in Virginia in 1635; Sibilla Fanshaw settled in Virginia in 1726.

Contemporary Notables of the name Fanshawe (post 1700) +

  • Catherine Maria Fanshawe (1765-1834), English poet
  • Richard Fanshawe (1608-1666), English scholar and diplomat
  • General Sir Evelyn Fanshawe,
  • Captain Thomas Fanshawe,
  • General George Fanshawe,
  • David Fanshawe (b. 1942), British composer
  • Henry Fanshawe Tozer (1829-1916), English writer, teacher, and traveler

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print on Facebook