name Fennay comes from when the family resided near a marsh or swamp. Another name for wetlands is fen,
in the Old English fenn,
from which this name is derived. There are two place-names that may serve as sources for the name as well: Fen, in Lincolnshire
, and Venn, in Devon.
Early Origins of the Fennay family
The surname Fennay was first found in Devon
, where the family held a family seat
from early times. The origins of the name make it likely that several branches of the Fennay family emerged independently in different areas during the Middle Ages. The earliest known bearer of the name was Godwin de la Fenna, who was recorded in the Pipe Rolls
Early History of the Fennay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fennay research.Another 273 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1176, 1185, 1190, 1199, 1297, 1639, 1637, 1723, 1615, 1987, 1687, 1586, 1650, 1641 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Fennay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fennay Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations
are common among early Anglo-Saxon
names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Fennay has been recorded under many different variations, including Fenn, Fenne, Fennoy, Fann, Fan, Venn, Fen and others.
Early Notables of the Fennay family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Richard Venn or Fenn (died 1639), an English merchant and politician, Lord Mayor of London in 1637; John Fenn (died May 1723), an early 18th century English pirate who sailed with Captain Bartholomew Roberts; John Fenn (d. December 1615), an English Roman... Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fennay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fennay family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England
made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Fennay or a variant listed above: Richard Fenn, who settled in Virginia in 1623; Richard Fenn, who immigrated to New England
in 1635; Charles Fann, who came to Maryland in 1663; Joshua Fenn, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682.