Show ContentsFarnum History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Farnum name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived at Farnham, in several different counties including Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex, Suffolk, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case the surname Farnum was originally derived from the Old English words fearn + hamm which means a fern-covered homestead or property.

Early Origins of the Farnum family

The surname Farnum was first found in one of the many villages names Farnham throughout England in the following counties or shires: Dorset, Essex, North Yorkshire, Suffolk, and Surrey. Farnham Common and Farnham Royal are located in Buckinghamshire. [1]

The name has numerous listings in the Domesday Book with various spellings that were in use at the time: Fernham, Dorset; Phernham Essex; Fareham North Yorkshire; Farnham, Suffolk; and Fernham Surrey. Farnham Royal was listed as Fernham Riall. [2]

While one would suppose the surname originated from one or more of the aforementioned locals, another reference suggests we must look to Leicestershire, specifically Quorndon to find the surname's true origin as in "this ancient family was certainly seated at Quorndon two descents before the reign of Edward I." [3]

Early History of the Farnum family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Farnum research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1312, 1483, 1753, 1642, 1636 and are included under the topic Early Farnum History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Farnum Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Farnum were recorded, including Farnham, Farnhams, Farnhan, Fearnham, Farneham and others.

Early Notables of the Farnum family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Richard Farnham (d. 1642), fanatic, "a weaver who came from Colchester to Whitechapel about 1636, where he and a fellow-craftsman, John Bull, announced that they were prophets inspired with ‘the...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Farnum Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Farnum Ranking

In the United States, the name Farnum is the 11,389th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Farnum family to Ireland

Some of the Farnum family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Farnum migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Farnum family emigrate to North America:

Farnum Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Farnum, who landed in New England in 1640 [5]
  • Henry Farnum, who arrived in New England in 1644 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Farnum (post 1700) +

  • William Farnum (1876-1953), Hollywood film actor
  • Royal Bailey Farnum (1884-1967), former President of the Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Franklyn Farnum (1878-1961), stage name of William Smith, American character actor
  • Ethan Bennett "E. B." Farnum (1826-1878), American politician, first mayor of Deadwood, South Dakota
  • Dustin Farnum (1874-1929), American singer, dancer and silent movie actor
  • Billie Sunday Farnum (1916-1979), U.S. Representative and labor leader from Michigan
  • Edwin W. H. Farnum (1865-1925), American politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate 8th District, 1901-02 [6]
  • Duane Farnum, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Tuscola County, 1962 [6]
  • Charla Farnum, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 2008 [6]
  • Billie Sunday Farnum (1916-1979), American Democratic Party politician, Michigan State Auditor General, 1961-64; U.S. Representative from Michigan 19th District, 1965-67; Defeated, 1966 [6]
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from on Facebook