Show ContentsFarnes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The current generations of the Farnes family have inherited a surname that was first used hundreds of years ago by descendants of the ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The Farnes family lived on the land of Fearn in Ross where "the Gaelic name of this parish, Fearnn, signifies 'the alder-tree,' and was applied in consequence of the great number of alders growing at Mid-Fearn, in the parish of Edderton, in the neighbourhood. An abbey was founded there in the reign of Alexander II., by Farquhar, first Earl of Ross." [1]

Early Origins of the Farnes family

The surname Farnes was first found in Ross-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rois) a former county, now part of the Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles in Northern Scotland, which emerged from the Gaelic lordship of the Earl of Ross.

"Sir Andrew Ferae was one of the chaplains of the cathedral church of Dornoch in 1512, Sir Robert Fern or Ferne was curate of Golspie in 1546, and curate of Kylmalie in the same year." [2]

Saint Bartholomew of Farne (d. 1193) was a Benedictine hermit, born Tostig, to parents of Scandinavian origin, in Whitby, Northumbria, England. He received a vision of St Cuthbert, and then decided to inhabit Cuthbert's old cell on the island of Farne. There he remained for the remaining 42 years of his life.

Early History of the Farnes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Farnes research. Another 247 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1267, 1432, 1436, 1458, 1488, 1500, 1517, 1543, 1546, 1560, 1567, 1578, 1602, 1604, 1609, 1610, 1662 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Farnes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Farnes Spelling Variations

Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Farnes has been spelled Ferns, Fearn, Fearns, Fearne, Fern, Ferne and others.

Early Notables of the Farnes family

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Sir John Ferne (ca. 1560-1609), an English writer on heraldry and an eminent lawyer and politician, Member of Parliament for Boroughbridge from 1604 to 1609. He was "the son of William Ferne of Temple Belwood in the isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire, who came originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire." [3]Henry Ferne (1602-1662), was an English bishop, Chaplain Extraordinary to Charles I...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Farnes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Farnes family

The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Farnes: Elizabeth Fearn settled in New England in 1767; Felix Fearn settled in Philadelphia in 1877; Henry Ferne settled in Virginia in 1623; Paul Ferne settled in Virginia in 1635.

Contemporary Notables of the name Farnes (post 1700) +

  • Wayne Farnes, American actor, known for Shut Up and Kiss Me! (2004), Popcorn (1991) and Ocean Ave. (2002)
  • Jamie S. Farnes (b. 1984), British cosmologist, astrophysicist, and radio astronomer from Cornwall, based at the University of Oxford
  • Eleanor Farnes, British writer of over 60 romance novels from 1935 to 1979
  • Wing Commander Paul Casewell Powe Farnes DFM (b. 1918), British World War II Royal Air Force fighter pilot and fighter aces credited with 8 aerial victories
  • Richard Farnes (b. 1964), British conductor, current Music Director of Opera North
  • Kenneth "Ken" Farnes (1911-1941), English cricketer who played in 15 Tests from 1934 to 1939

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook