Feane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Feane reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Feane family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Feane family lived in Fiennes, in the region of Pas-de-Calais, Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Feane family

The surname Feane was first found in Kent where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor, Lords of the Cinque Ports, and Constables of Dover Castle. They are said to be descended from Conon de Fiennes, the Earl of Boulogne, of the county of Boulounais in Normandy. [2]

John de Fiennes accompanied William, Duke of Normandy in his conquest of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. In England, William was the 1st Baron de Fiennes (circa 1160-1241). The family also remained in France where Robert de Fiennes was constable of France from 1350 to 1370.

Early History of the Feane family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Feane research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1496, 1450, 1405, 1472, 1534, 1557, 1613, 1582, 1662, 1602, 1674, 1625, 1660, 1608, 1669, 1595, 1557, 1539, 1594 and 1541 are included under the topic Early Feane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Feane Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Finnes, Fienne, Fiennes and others.

Early Notables of the Feane family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was James Fiennes Lord Say (or Saye) and Sele (d. 1450), the second son of Sir William de Fiennes (d. 1405) and Elizabeth, daughter of William Batisford, a great Sussex heiress. Thomas Fiennes, 8th Baron Dacre (1472-1534), an English peer and soldier; and Richard Fiennes, 7th Baron Dacre 'of the South' (c. 1557-1613) born at Herstmonceux Castle, Sussex, England, English peer. William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele (1582-1662), was an English nobleman and politician, who helped establish a company for the settlement of the Providence Island colony and later established the New England...
Another 128 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Feane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Feane family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Feane name or one of its variants: Richard Fine, who sailed to Virginia in 1624; Charles and Thomas Fiennes, who came to Salem Massachusetts in 1630; Margery Fynes, who arrived in America in 1756.



The Feane Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fortem posce animum
Motto Translation: Wish for a strong mind.


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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