Farnwork History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Farnwork is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived at Farnworth, a parish, in the union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, south division of Lancashire. [1]

Early Origins of the Farnwork family

The surname Farnwork 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 Farnwork family

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

Farnwork Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Farnwork has been spelled many different ways, including Fanworth, Farnworth, Farnworthy, Farnsworth, Farnesworth and many more.

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

Migration of the Farnwork family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Farnworks to arrive in North America: 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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