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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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The surname Fears was 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.

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.


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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. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  9. 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).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  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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