The ancestors of the Fearnland surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. The name comes from when they lived in a forest glade carpeted with ferns. The name Fearnland is derived from two Old English elements: fearn,
the old English word for ferns, and leah,
a word for a clearing in a forest.
Early Origins of the Fearnland family
The surname Fearnland was first found in Farnley, a village and civil parish in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire
. This place name dates back to c. 1030 and was originally spelt Fernleage eluding to its Saxon heritage. There were three listings of separate villages in the Domesday Book
of 1086: Fernelai; Fernelei; and Fereleia. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
All were in the same area of Yorkshire. There are two Farnley Halls each with different origins but neither were held by the Fearnland family. Alternatively, the name could have originated in Derbyshire
at Fernilee, a township, in the parish of Hope, union of Chapel-en-le-Frith, hundred
of High-Peak that was originally spelt Ferneley in the 12th century. Both place names literally mean "woodland clearing where ferns grow," from the Old English words "fearn" + "leah." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Some of the first records of the name include: Hugh de Fernlee who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Worcestershire
in 1206; and Hugh de Fernelay who was listed in Yorkshire
in 1316. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
The Yorkshire Poll Tax
Rolls of 1379 had the following entries: Johannes de Farnelay, living at Fernelay; Johannes de Fernelee; Margeria de Fernelee; and Johanna de Ferenlowe. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the Fearnland family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fearnland research.Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fearnland History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fearnland Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations
of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Fearnland include Fearnley, Fernlie, Fernley and others.
Early Notables of the Fearnland family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Fearnland Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fearnland family to the New World and Oceana
A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England
at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England
. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Thomas Fernley who settled in Virginia in 1623; James, John and Thomas Fernley all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.