Farnswork History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Farnswork dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived at Farnworth, a parish, in the union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, south division of Lancashire. [1]

Early Origins of the Farnswork family

The surname Farnswork 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 Farnswork family

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

Farnswork 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 Farnswork have been found, including Fanworth, Farnworth, Farnworthy, Farnsworth, Farnesworth and many more.

Early Notables of the Farnswork 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 Farnswork Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Farnswork 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 Farnswork, 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.



  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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