Show ContentsFener History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the ancestors of the Fener family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Sussex. The name, however, derives from the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Veneur, Normandy. Odo Fenarius was listed in Normandy (1180-1195). [1]

Early Origins of the Fener family

The surname Fener was first found in Sussex where "Fenn Place in the parish of Worth, co. Sussex, had owners for several generations, called from it atte Fenne, but in the time of Henry VI. the name was changed to Fenner, while a Kentish branch wrote themselves Fenour." [2]

"The Fenners in past time seem to have been more numerous on the south side of the Thames. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Robert le Venur, Lincolnshire; William Venator, Yorkshire; and Geoffrey le Venour, Salop (Shropshire.) [4]

Some of the family were also found in the parish of Horley in Surrey from ancient times. "The church contains the effigy of a man in armour, in a recumbent position, his feet resting on a lion; also an ancient brass effigy, under a pointed arch, to the memory of Joanna Fenner." [5]

Early History of the Fener family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fener research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1558, 1587, 1575, 1612, 1576, 1572, 1577, 1590, 1600, 1640, 1618 and 1622 are included under the topic Early Fener History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fener 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. Fener has been recorded under many different variations, including Fenner, Fenour, Feneur, Veneur and others.

Early Notables of the Fener family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Dudley Fenner (c.1558-1587), an English puritan divine who popularized Ramist logic in the English language, one of the first theologians to use the term "covenant of works" to describe God's relationship with Adam in the Book of Genesis. He "was born in Kent, 'heire of great possessions,' and matriculated as a fellow-commoner of Peterhouse 15 June 1575." [6] Edward Fenner (d. 1612), was an early English judge, son of John Fenner of Crawley, Sussex, by Ellen, daughter of Sir William Goring of Burton, was called to...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fener Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Fener 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. Feners were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Arthur Fenner who settled in Providence R.I. in 1630; Edward Fenner settled in Virginia in 1654; John Fenner settled in Connecticut in 1630; Rebecca Fenner settled in Boston in 1635..

  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. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook