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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The Fears family has descended through the lines of the ancient Normans that came to England following their Conquest of England in 1066. The Fears name reveals that an early member was a sociable person. It derives from the Middle English feare, which means comrade, or companion.

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Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Fears family name include Fear, Fere and others.

First found in Middlesex where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. They were originally descended from Vere from Manche in the arrondisement of Coutances in Normandy, and Aubrey de Vere was an undertenant in Kensington, Middlesex, and two places in Northampton.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fears research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fears History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Fears Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Fears family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Fears family to immigrate North America:

Fears Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Alexander Fears, aged 24, arrived in Missouri in 1849
  • Edward Fears, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1879

Fears Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Alice Fears, aged 45, who settled in America, in 1912
  • Albert Fears, aged 43, who emigrated to the United States, in 1915
  • Charles Fears, aged 51, who emigrated to the United States, in 1917

Fears Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Fears, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

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  • Tom Fears (1923-2000), American NFL football wide receiver, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Shamari Fears –DeVoe (b. 1980), American R&B singer
  • Peggy Fears (1903-1994), American Broadway musical comedy actress during the 1920s and 1930s
  • J. Rufus Fears, American historian, scholar, teacher and author
  • Ivan Fears (b. 1954), American football coach for the New England Patriots
  • William E. Fears, American Democrat politician, Member of Virginia State Senate 3rd District, 1974-79
  • Evelyn Fears, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1972


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  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Fears Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Fears Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 January 2016 at 10:48.

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