Fanton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Fanton comes from when the family resided in the region of Fenton. The surname Fanton originally derived from the Old English words Fenne and Tun which referred to an enclosed region by a dyke. There are numerous listings of this local name: a township near Carlisle, Cumberland; a chapelry in the parish of Beckingham, Lincoln; and a hamlet in the parish of Kettlethorpe, Lincoln.

Early Origins of the Fanton family

The surname Fanton was first found in Yorkshire where the Gilbert de Fenton was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls included: Robert de Fenton, Lincolnshire; and Thomas de Fenton, Devon. [1]

Ralph de Fenton, was Rector of Warham, Norfolk in 1358 [2] and the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Ricardus de Fenton; Johannes de Fenton; and Robertus de Fenton as all holdings lands there at that time. [1]

Early History of the Fanton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fanton research. Another 38 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1261, 1539, 1608, 1603, 1565, 1615, 1565, 1601, 1603, 1683, 1730, 1683, 1694 and are included under the topic Early Fanton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fanton Spelling Variations

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 Fanton include Fenton, Fentun, Fentoun, Fentown, Fentoune and many more.

Early Notables of the Fanton family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Geoffrey Fenton (c.1539-1608), English writer and Privy Councillor (government advisor) from Nottinghamshire. His brother Edward Fenton (d. 1603), English navigator, helped discovery the Northwest passage. They were sons of Henry Fenton of Fenton, in the parish of Sturton (formerly Stretton-le-Steeple), Nottinghamshire, and of Cecily, daughter of John Beaumont of Coleorton, Leicestershire. " Like his brother, Sir Geoffrey Fenton, he sold his hereditary patrimony, preferring the life of a soldier of fortune to the prospect of ending his days in the ignominious ease of his ancestral home." [3] Roger Fenton (1565-1615), was...
Another 99 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fanton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fanton family to Ireland

Some of the Fanton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fanton migration to the United States +

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:

Fanton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Fanton, aged 28, who arrived in America, in 1895
Fanton Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Henry Fanton, aged 40, who arrived in America, in 1906
  • Mary Fanton, aged 38, who arrived in America, in 1909
  • Anna Fanton, aged 29, who arrived in America from Tersero, Austria, in 1911
  • Giv. Batt. Fanton, aged 30, who arrived in America from Consedo, Italy, in 1913
  • Giovanni Fanton, aged 30, who arrived in America from Calalzo di Cadore, Italy, in 1914
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Fanton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fanton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Fanton, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland

Contemporary Notables of the name Fanton (post 1700) +

  • Dimon S. Fanton (1838-1882), American politician, 9th Warden of the Borough of Norwalk, Connecticut (1856-1859)
  • Andy Fanton, British comic strip creator, artist and writer


The Fanton Motto +

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: Gwell angau na gwarth
Motto Translation: Death before disgrace.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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