Farnswithay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Farnswithay is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived at Farnworth, a parish, in the union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, south division of Lancashire. 
Early Origins of the Farnswithay family
The surname Farnswithay 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." 
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. "  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. 
Early History of the Farnswithay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Farnswithay research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1650, 1666, 1651 and 1652 are included under the topic Early Farnswithay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Farnswithay Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Farnswithay are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Farnswithay include: Fanworth, Farnworth, Farnworthy, Farnsworth, Farnesworth and many more.
Early Notables of the Farnswithay 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 Farnswithay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Farnswithay family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Farnswithay or a variant listed above: 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.
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)