Fenimore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Fenimore is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was a name given to a person who was perceived to be splendid and very likable. The surname is derived from the Old French words fin, a nickname for a very elegant man and amour, which is means love.

Early Origins of the Fenimore family

The surname Fenimore was first found in Devonshire where "Sir Gilbert Finemer or Finemore held half a knight's fee of the Honour of Clare, temp. Henry II.; and bore the red chevrons of his suzerain on a field of ermine. The name is also found at Hinksey in Berkshire; and in the church of St. Lawrence at Reading there is a monument to the memory of one of this family, with the following quaint inscription: 'Under they feet, reader, lie the remains of Richard Fynemore, his father's Benjamin, and his brother's Joseph; who coming from Oxon to the burial of a friend, found here his own grave, 1664.' The manor of Tingewick in Buckinghamshire was given in 1210 by this family to the monastery de Monet Rothomago in Normandy. It had passed to them from the Lacys before the reign of Henry III. They probably gave their name to the neighbouring village of Finmore in Oxfordshire. Hugh de Finemer was Vicar of Shabbington, Buckinghamshire in 1348." [1]

Other record confirm Finmere (Finmore) in Oxfordshire is a parish, in the union of Brackley, hundred of Ploughley. [2] Another source claims the earliest record of the family was Gilbert de Finemere who held lands here in AD 1208. [3]

"Thomas Fynnamore was a burgess of Henley-on-Thames in the reign of Henry VIII. There were several Fennimores or Vennimores in Wendebury in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. In the time of William III. there was a Ffennimore in the parish of Enstone (J.). Fynnemore or Fynmore or Finnemore was a Reading name in the 16th and 17th centuries; two mayors of Reading bore this name, namely in 1577 and 1586." [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listings of the family: Gilbert de Fenamore, Wiltshire; and Hugh Finamur, Norfolk. [5]

Early History of the Fenimore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fenimore research. Another 224 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1208, 1349, 1539, 1507 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Fenimore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fenimore Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Fenimore were recorded, including Fennimore, Fenemere, Finimore, Finnimore, Fenimore, Fenimere, Finmore and many more.

Early Notables of the Fenimore family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Fenimore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fenimore Ranking

In the United States, the name Fenimore is the 16,951st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]


United States Fenimore migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Fenimore family emigrate to North America:

Fenimore Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Humphrey Fenimore, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1774 [7]
Fenimore Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Beulah Fenimore, aged 30, who settled in America, in 1909
  • Carrie Fenimore, aged 36, who immigrated to the United States from Hellscott, England, in 1911
  • Michael Fenimore, aged 29, who landed in America, in 1923

Contemporary Notables of the name Fenimore (post 1700) +

  • Keith Fenimore, American producer, known for Howard Stern: Behind the Scenes Show (2011)
  • Ford Fenimore (d. 1941), American actor, known for For High Stakes (1915), The Parson's Horse Race (1915) and The Hand of the Law (1915)
  • Elizabeth Fenimore, American mother of James Fenimore Cooper
  • Robert Dale Fenimore (1925-2010), American football halfback known as the "Blonde Bomber", inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (1972)
  • Albert Fenimore Rockwell (1862-1925), American Republican politician, Inventor; Manufacturer; Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Bristol, 1907-10 [8]
  • Constance Fenimore Woolson (1840-1894), American novelist and short story writer, grandniece of James Fenimore Cooper
  • James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851), American novelist who wrote "The Last of the Mohicans"
  • Frederic Fenimore Forrest Jr. (b. 1936), Academy Award-nominated American actor
  • Fenimore Chatterton (1860-1958), American Republican politician, Member of Wyoming State Senate, 1890; Wyoming Republican State Chair, 1893-94; Secretary of State of Wyoming, 1899-1907; Governor of Wyoming, 1903-05 [9]


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, June 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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