Fearnes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Fearnes family name was first used by descendants of the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. It is a name for someone who 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 Fearnes family

The surname Fearnes 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]

Early History of the Fearnes family

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

Fearnes Spelling Variations

Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Fearnes has been spelled Ferns, Fearn, Fearns, Fearne, Fern, Ferne and others.

Early Notables of the Fearnes family (pre 1700)

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." [3] Henry 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 Fearnes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fearnes migration to the United States +

The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Fearnes:

Fearnes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Westly Fearnes, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823 [4]

Australia Fearnes migration to Australia +

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

Fearnes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Bridget Fearnes who was convicted in Wakefiled, Yorkshire, England for 7 years , transported aboard the "Aurora" on 22nd April 1851, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]


  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 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora


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