Farnworth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Farnworth family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Farnworth 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 Farnworth family

The surname Farnworth 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 Farnworth family

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

Farnworth Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Farnworth has appeared include Fanworth, Farnworth, Farnworthy, Farnsworth, Farnesworth and many more.

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


United States Farnworth migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Farnworth arrived in North America very early:

Farnworth Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Farnworth, who landed in New England in 1638 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Farnworth (post 1700) +

  • Simon Farnworth (b. 1963), former English football goalkeeper who played from 1983 to 1996
  • Oliver Farnworth (b. 1982), English actor, best known for his role as Will Hackett in the soap opera Hollyoaks
  • John Farnworth (b. 1986), English football freestyler and entertainer who holds four Guinness World Records
  • Judith Margaret Farnworth (b. 1966), British diplomat, British Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan (2012-)
  • Mike Farnworth, Canadian politician, Minister of Social Development and Economic Security of British Columbia (2000-2001), Minister of Health & Minister Responsible for Seniors of British Columbia in 2000


  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)
  4. ^ 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)


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