Show ContentsFeernehams History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Feernehams is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived at Farnham, in several different counties including Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex, Suffolk, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case the surname Feernehams was originally derived from the Old English words fearn + hamm which means a fern-covered homestead or property. [1]

Another source has a slightly different understanding of the name: "so called from the Saxon Fearn, fern, and ham, a habitation or village—the village in the place overgrown with fern." [2]

Early Origins of the Feernehams family

The surname Feernehams was first found in one of the many villages names Farnham throughout England in the following counties or shires: Dorset, Essex, North Yorkshire, Suffolk, and Surrey. Farnham Common and Farnham Royal are located in Buckinghamshire. [3]

The name has numerous listings in the Domesday Book with various spellings that were in use at the time: Fernham, Dorset; Phernham Essex; Fareham North Yorkshire; Farnham, Suffolk; and Fernham Surrey. Farnham Royal was listed as Fernham Riall. [4]

While one would suppose the surname originated from one or more of the aforementioned locals, another reference suggests we must look to Leicestershire, specifically Quorndon to find the surname's true origin as in "this ancient family was certainly seated at Quorndon two descents before the reign of Edward I." [5]

Early rolls point to many of the aforementioned counties of England: Richard de Farenham in the Pipe Rolls for Surrey in 1205; Robert de Farnham in the Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1219; and John de Farnam, listed a a Freeman of York in 1323. [6]

Early History of the Feernehams family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Feernehams research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1312, 1483, 1636, 1642, 1665, 1666, 1753, 1784, 1832 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Feernehams History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Feernehams Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Feernehams are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Feernehams include: Farnham, Farnhams, Farnhan, Fearnham, Farneham and others.

Early Notables of the Feernehams family

Notables of the family at this time include Richard Farnham (d. 1642), fanatic, "a weaver who came from Colchester to Whitechapel about 1636, where he and a fellow-craftsman, John Bull, announced that they were prophets inspired with 'the very spirit of God.' They claimed to be 'the two great prophets which should come...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Feernehams Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Feernehams family to Ireland

Some of the Feernehams family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 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 Feernehams family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Feernehams or a variant listed above: Thomas and Ralph Farnham who had came to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1634; as did Henry Farnham of Warwickshire, who settled there in 1644. Alice, Mary, and Ralph Farnham settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635.



  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  6. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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