The present generation of the Farnwath family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived at Farnworth, a parish, in the union of Bolton, hundred
of Salford, south division of Lancashire
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early Origins of the Farnwath family
The surname Farnwath 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
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. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
Early History of the Farnwath family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Farnwath research.Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1650 and 1666 are included under the topic Early Farnwath History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Farnwath Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred
years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations
in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon
and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Farnwath include Fanworth, Farnworth, Farnworthy, Farnsworth, Farnesworth and many more.
Early Notables of the Farnwath family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Farnwath Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Farnwath family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England
at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Farnwath were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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.