Featherstonhaugh History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Featherstonhaugh name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Featherstonhaugh was originally derived from a family 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 Featherstonhaugh family

The surname Featherstonhaugh 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 Featherstonhaugh family

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

Featherstonhaugh 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 Featherstonhaugh include Featherston, Featherstone, Fetherstone, Featherstonhaugh, Featherstun, Fetherston, Featherstonaugh, Featherstonhoe, Fetherstonhoe, Fetherstunhaugh, Fetherstonaugh and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Featherstonhaugh family to Ireland

Some of the Featherstonhaugh 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 Featherstonhaugh migration to the United States +

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:

Featherstonhaugh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George William Featherstonhaugh, who landed in New York in 1811 [4]
  • G W Featherstonhaugh, aged 32, who arrived in New York in 1812 [4]
  • C. Featherstonhaugh, aged 28, who landed in America from Liverpool, England, in 1893
Featherstonhaugh Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Edgar Hamilton Featherstonhaugh, aged 32, who immigrated to America from London, England, in 1920
  • Felicy Featherstonhaugh, aged 32, who landed in America from London, England, in 1920
  • Yahne Felicy Featherstonhaugh, aged 2, who settled in America from London, England, in 1920

Canada Featherstonhaugh migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Featherstonhaugh Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Flora Emma Featherstonhaugh, aged 34, who settled in Midland, Canada, in 1907
  • Marion Featherstonhaugh, aged 58, who immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1915

Contemporary Notables of the name Featherstonhaugh (post 1700) +

  • George William Featherstonhaugh Jr. (1814-1900), American businessman and politician
  • George William Featherstonhaugh FRS (1780-1866), British geologist and geographer, founder of the Abany and Schenectady Railroad, surveyor of the Louisiana Purchase for the American government
  • Constance Featherstonhaugh (1864-1946), birth name of Constance Benson, an English actress
  • Rupert Edward Lee "Buddy" Featherstonhaugh (1909-1976), English jazz saxophonist from London
  • Francis Featherstonhaugh Johnston (1891-1963), English cleric, Anglican bishop of Egypt (1952-1958)
  • Alexander Featherstonhaugh Wylie (b. 1951), Scottish jurist, a judge of the Supreme Courts of Scotland
  • Mary Featherstonhaugh Frampton (1928-2014), née Featherstonhaugh, an English civil servant


The Featherstonhaugh 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)


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