Featherbey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Featherbey belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived in Featherstone, Northumberland, a township, in the parish and union of Haltwhistle, W. division of Tindale ward. "Featherstone Castle is on the east side of the South Tyne, opposite its confluence with the Hartley burn, in a beautiful situation. It was from an early period the seat of the Featherstonehaugh family, one of whom, Timothy, raised a troop of horse for the king during the civil war, and was knighted under the royal banner. The castle stands in a spacious lawn skirted with trees of luxuriant foliage, and is an exceedingly fine structure, with embattled walls, and four towers, of which three are of recent erection; the interior is enriched by some splendid pictures, and attached are a domestic chapel, and a well-arranged suite of offices." [1]

Featherstone is also a chapelry, in the parish of Wolverhampton, union of Penkridge in Staffordshire and a parish, partly in the Lower division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, and partly in the Upper division of that of Osgoldcross, union of Barwick (under Gilbert's act), in the West Riding of Yorkshire. [1]

As far as these parishes are concerned, the Staffordshire parish dates back to Saxon times (10th century) when it was known as Feotherer(e)stan but later as Ferdestan in 1086 [2] and the West Yorkshire parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was known as Ferdeston. [3]

Early Origins of the Featherbey family

The surname Featherbey was first found in Northumberland at Featherstone Castle, a large Gothic style country mansion on the bank of the River South Tyne, near the town of Haltwhistle.

The 11th century manor house belonged to the Featherstonehaugh family and dates back to the 13th-century. A square three-storey pele tower was added in 1330 by Thomas de Featherstonehaugh. The castle was held in good repair through the centuries as a survey from the year 1541 reported the property to be a tower in good repair and occupied by Thomas Featherstonehaugh. For a brief time, the castle was sold to Sir William Howard in the 17th century, but was repurchased from the Earl of Carlisle in 1711 by Matthew Featherstonehaugh (1662-1762).

Some moved west to Kirk-Oswald in Cumberland. "The estates were granted by Elizabeth to the Dodding family, and subsequently to the Featherstonhaughs, of Northumberland, who have been settled here since the time of James I., and whose mansion, called The College, is a venerable structure, formerly the residence of the provost and fellows of the college. It is romantically situated on a gentle eminence rising from the margin of the Raven beck, at a short distance from the town; and retains its ancient Oriel window, and other interesting details of its original style. The mansion was plundered by the parliamentarian forces; and there is still preserved the copy of a petition presented to the parliament by the widow of Sir Timothy Featherstonhaugh, in which the loss is estimated at £10,000." [1]

Early History of the Featherbey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Featherbey research. Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1540, 1886, 1575, 1621, 1624, 1621, 1638, 1628, 1711, 1654, 1746, 1776, 1830 and 1923 are included under the topic Early Featherbey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Featherbey Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Featherbey include Featherston, Featherstone, Fetherstone, Featherstonhaugh, Featherstun, Fetherston, Featherstonaugh, Featherstonhoe, Fetherstonhoe, Fetherstunhaugh, Fetherstonaugh and many more.

Early Notables of the Featherbey family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Richard Fetherston (Fetherstone, Featherstone) (executed in 1540), an English Roman Catholic priest, chaplain to Catharine of Aragon and tutor to her daughter, Mary Tudor, he was beatified by Pope Leo XIII, 29 December 1886. Francis Fetherston or Fetherstonhaugh (born c. 1575) was an English politician, Member...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Featherbey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Featherbey family to Ireland

Some of the Featherbey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Featherbey family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Featherbey were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Richard Featherston purchased land in Virginia in 1607; thirteen years before the "Mayflower"; Thomas Featherstone settled in Pennsylvania in 1848.



The Featherbey Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Valens et volens
Motto Translation: Able and willing.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)


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