Featherstone History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Featherstone date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence 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 Featherstone family

The surname Featherstone 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 Featherstone family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Featherstone 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 Featherstone History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Featherstone Spelling Variations

Featherstone has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Featherstone have been found, including Featherston, Featherstone, Fetherstone, Featherstonhaugh, Featherstun, Fetherston, Featherstonaugh, Featherstonhoe, Fetherstonhoe, Fetherstunhaugh, Fetherstonaugh and many more.

Early Notables of the Featherstone 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 Featherstone Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Featherstone family to Ireland

Some of the Featherstone 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.


United States Featherstone migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Featherstones to arrive on North American shores:

Featherstone Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Featherstone, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607 [4]
  • John Featherstone, who arrived in Maryland in 1679 [4]
Featherstone Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Featherstone, who arrived in Barbados in 1730 [4]
  • George Featherstone, who landed in New England in 1742 [4]
Featherstone Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Featherstone, who landed in New York in 1831 [4]
  • Thomas Featherstone, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1848

Canada Featherstone migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Featherstone Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • George Featherstone, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Eleanor Featherstone, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Phoebe Featherstone, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
Featherstone Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Featherstone, (b. 1808), aged 47, Cornish carpenter departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he died in the sinking [5]
  • Mrs. Mary Featherstone, (b. 1808), aged 47, Cornish settler departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, she died in the sinking [5]
  • Miss Mary A. Featherstone, (b. 1831), aged 24, Cornish servant departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, she died in the sinking [5]
  • Miss Betsy Featherstone, (b. 1832), aged 23, Cornish servant departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, she died in the sinking [5]
  • Miss Jane Featherstone, (b. 1836), aged 19, Cornish servant departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, she died in the sinking [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Featherstone migration to Australia +

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

Featherstone Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Jonothan Featherstone, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Michael Featherstone, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839 [7]
  • Charlotte Featherstone, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839 [7]
  • martha Featherstone, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839 [7]
  • Mr. Charles Featherstone, English convict who was convicted in Canterbury (St. Augustines), Kent, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 27th August 1841, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [8]

New Zealand Featherstone migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Featherstone Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Dr. Featherstone, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Olympus" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 20th April 1841 [9]
  • Mrs. Featherstone, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Olympus" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 20th April 1841 [9]
  • William Featherstone, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Armstrong" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Featherstone (post 1700) +

  • Vaughn J. Featherstone (1931-2018), American general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Angela Featherstone (b. 1965), Canadian Gemini Award nominated actress from Hamilton, Ontario, best known for playing Chloe in Friends
  • Donald "Don" Featherstone (1935-2015), American artist, best known for his 1957 creation of the Plastic Pink Flamingo
  • Liza Featherstone (b. 1969), American journalist and journalism professor
  • Michelle Featherstone, English-born, American singer-songwriter, recipient of mulitple awards from the Royal Academy of Music
  • Robert Featherstone, American scientist and educator
  • Lewis Porter Featherstone (1851-1922), American politician, Member of Arkansas State House of Representatives, 1887-88; U.S. Representative from Arkansas 1st District, 1890-91; Defeated (Union Labor), 1888, 1890 [10]
  • Mrs. J. A. Featherstone, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 1928 [10]
  • James Featherstone (b. 1979), English footballer
  • Nicky Lee Featherstone (b. 1988), English professional footballer from Goole, England
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Cornwall
  • Patrick Francis Featherstone, British Stoker Petty Officer aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [11]


The Featherstone 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)
  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. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/wreck_of_emigrant_ship_john_1855.pdf
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Hooghly.htm
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A


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