Show ContentsFeiner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Feiner reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Feiner family lived in Fiennes, in the region of Pas-de-Calais, Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Feiner family

The surname Feiner was first found in Kent where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor, Lords of the Cinque Ports, and Constables of Dover Castle. They are said to be descended from Conon de Fiennes, the Earl of Boulogne, of the county of Boulounais in Normandy. [2]

John de Fiennes accompanied William, Duke of Normandy in his conquest of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. In England, William was the 1st Baron de Fiennes (circa 1160-1241). The family also remained in France where Robert de Fiennes was constable of France from 1350 to 1370.

Early History of the Feiner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Feiner research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1405, 1450, 1472, 1496, 1534, 1539, 1541, 1557, 1582, 1594, 1595, 1602, 1606, 1608, 1613, 1625, 1657, 1660, 1662, 1669, 1674 and 1676 are included under the topic Early Feiner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Feiner Spelling Variations

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 Feiner family name include Finnes, Fienne, Fiennes and others.

Early Notables of the Feiner family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was James Fiennes Lord Say (or Saye) and Sele (d. 1450), the second son of Sir William de Fiennes (d. 1405) and Elizabeth, daughter of William Batisford, a great Sussex heiress. Thomas Fiennes, 8th Baron Dacre (1472-1534), an English peer and soldier; and Richard Fiennes, 7th Baron Dacre 'of the South' (c. 1557-1613) born at Herstmonceux Castle, Sussex, England, English peer. William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele (1582-1662), was an English nobleman and politician, who helped establish a company for the settlement of the Providence Island colony and later established the New England...
Another 131 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Feiner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Feiner migration to the United States +

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 Feiner family to immigrate North America:

Feiner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Feiner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 [3]
Feiner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Feiner, who arrived in America in 1812 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Feiner (post 1700) +

  • Edward Feiner (1946-2022), American chief architect of the General Services Administration from 1996 to 2005, after joining the GSA in 1981
  • Paul J. Feiner, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 20th District, 1998, 2000 [4]
  • John M. Feiner, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1973 [4]

  • Wilhelm Feiner (1921-1941), German Matrosengefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [5]

The Feiner 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: Fortem posce animum
Motto Translation: Wish for a strong mind.

  1. 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)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. 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)
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from
  5. Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from on Facebook