Show ContentsFearne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Pictish-Scottish family that first used the name Fearne lived on the land of Fearn in Ross where "the Gaelic name of this parish, Fearnn, signifies 'the alder-tree,' and was applied in consequence of the great number of alders growing at Mid-Fearn, in the parish of Edderton, in the neighbourhood. An abbey was founded there in the reign of Alexander II., by Farquhar, first Earl of Ross." 1

Early Origins of the Fearne family

The surname Fearne was first found in Ross-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rois) a former county, now part of the Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles in Northern Scotland, which emerged from the Gaelic lordship of the Earl of Ross.

"Sir Andrew Ferae was one of the chaplains of the cathedral church of Dornoch in 1512, Sir Robert Fern or Ferne was curate of Golspie in 1546, and curate of Kylmalie in the same year." 2

Saint Bartholomew of Farne (d. 1193) was a Benedictine hermit, born Tostig, to parents of Scandinavian origin, in Whitby, Northumbria, England. He received a vision of St Cuthbert, and then decided to inhabit Cuthbert's old cell on the island of Farne. There he remained for the remaining 42 years of his life.

Early History of the Fearne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fearne research. Another 247 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1267, 1432, 1436, 1458, 1488, 1500, 1517, 1543, 1546, 1560, 1567, 1578, 1602, 1604, 1609, 1610, 1662 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Fearne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fearne Spelling Variations

The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Fearne has been spelled Ferns, Fearn, Fearns, Fearne, Fern, Ferne and others.

Early Notables of the Fearne family

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Sir John Ferne (ca. 1560-1609), an English writer on heraldry and an eminent lawyer and politician, Member of Parliament for Boroughbridge from 1604 to 1609. He was "the son of William Ferne of Temple Belwood in the isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire, who came originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire." 3Henry Ferne (1602-1662), was an English bishop, Chaplain Extraordinary to Charles I...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fearne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Fearne migration to the United States +

This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Fearne:

Fearne Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Fearne, who landed in Virginia in 1622 4
  • Paul Fearne, aged 24, who landed in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Elizabeth" 4
  • Jane Fearne, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 4
  • Jones Fearne, who landed in Virginia in 1665 4
  • Jos Fearne, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 4
Fearne Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph D Fearne, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 4

Australia Fearne migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Fearne Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Fearne (post 1700) +

  • Charles Fearne (1742-1794), English legal writer, born in London in 1742, the eldest son of Charles Fearne, deputy secretary of the admiralty and judge advocate, who presided at the trial of Admiral Byng 7

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th May 2022).
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from
  7. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook