Show ContentsFeise History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Normans that arrived in England following the Conquest of 1066 are the initial ancestors from which the many generations of the Feise family have grown. The name Feise was given to a member of the family who was a pheasant, derived from the Middle English word "fesaunt" [1] which in turn was derived from the Old French word "faisain." [2]

Not all of the family emigrated to England, as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Radulphus le Paisant in Normandy 1180-1195. [3]

Early Origins of the Feise family

The surname Feise was first found in Sussex where John Falsant was listed in the Pipe Rolls for 1166. Later, Thomas Fesaunt was found in the Assize Rolls for Warwickshire in 1221 and Richard le Feisant, le Falsant was found in Jersey in 1229. In Oxfordshire, Roger Fesant was listed at Oseney in 1241. [1]

Again, in Oxfordshire the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included an entry for Robert Fesuant. The Close Rolls of Edward III included an entry for John ffesaunt. [2] (The use of "ff" was not uncommon at this time.)

Willelmus Faysand was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. In Norfolk, we found William Fesaunt was rector of Wood Rysing, Norfolk in 1380. [4]

On the lighter side, one researcher noted that "In England I have heard of a Miss Partridge, who married a Mr. Pheasant, and her sister married a Mr. Part­ridge. There was some other bird in the family." [5] This researcher postulates "this name, as well as Fesant, Fazan, Fazon, are probably from Lepheasant, near St. Austel, [Cornwall, England.]"

Early History of the Feise family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Feise research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1476, 1510, 1550, 1580, 1600, 1642, 1643, 1649 and 1767 are included under the topic Early Feise History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Feise Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Feise has been recorded under many different variations, including Phessant, Pheasant, Pheassant, Phessent, Fessant, Fesant, Fessant, Vessent and many more.

Early Notables of the Feise family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Peter Phesant (1580-1649), an English judge, son of Peter Phesant, barrister-at-law, of Gray's Inn. He was born probably...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Feise Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Feise family to Ireland

Some of the Feise 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 Feise family

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Feises were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. 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)
  4. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.


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