Fanwithay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Fanwithay is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Fanwithay family once lived at Farnworth, a parish, in the union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, south division of Lancashire. [1]

Early Origins of the Fanwithay family

The surname Fanwithay was first found in Lancashire at Farnworth, a small hamlet within about two miles of Bolton. Now part of Greater Manchester, Farnworth dates back to 1185 when it was first listed as Farnewurd. Literally the place name means "enclosure where ferns grow," from the Old English words "fearn" + "worth." [2]

Another reference states: "This place probably derives its name from the AngloSaxon word Fearn; the fern plant formerly overran the land, and still grows abundantly in the neighbourhood. " [1] Other spelling variants for the hamlet in these early years included Farneworth and Farnewrth in 1278; and Ffornword in 1282.

There is another Farnworth in Cheshire in the Borough of Halton, and this latter town was also influential in the family's history as Leising de Farnewurd was listed there in the Pipe Rolls of 1185. [3]

Early History of the Fanwithay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fanwithay research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1650, 1666, 1651 and 1652 are included under the topic Early Fanwithay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fanwithay Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Fanwithay family name include Fanworth, Farnworth, Farnworthy, Farnsworth, Farnesworth and many more.

Early Notables of the Fanwithay family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Farnworth (died 1666), an English Quaker writer of tracts. He "was born in the north of England, and appears to have been a labouring man. In 1651 he attended the quaker yearly meeting at Balby...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fanwithay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Fanwithay family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Fanwithay surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Thomas and Susannah Farnsworth who settled in New Jersey with their two children and servants in 1677; John Farnsworth who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1764.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ 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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