Fennelay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Fennelay is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Fennelay family once lived near a place where vennel grew. Vennel was an herb used for cooking. Other sources list the name as a local name derived from the term at the vennel. 
Early Origins of the Fennelay family
The surname Fennelay was first found in Sussex, where William Fenigle was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for 1327. A few years later, Henry atte Fenegle was found in the Subsidy Rolls of 1332, again in Sussex. William and Christina Fenel were recorded in the Subsidy Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1327 and the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset, respectively. 
"An Alan de Wanile, of Huntingdonshire, and Gilbert de la Venele, of Oxfordshire, are found in the Hundredorum Rolls in the reign of Edward I. If, as I imagine, the name is identical with Venell, Venella, and Venello, it is very numerously represented in the former county, where we find Hugh en la Venele, Ralph en le Venele, Walter ad Venell', Alexander in Venella, Gilbert, Eusebius, Galfrid, and Thomasin entered in the above record; besides John, Peter, and Nicholas de Venele in Kent." 
Early History of the Fennelay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fennelay research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1292, 1296, 1661 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Fennelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fennelay Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Fennelay family name include Fennell, Vennell, Venall, Fenel and others.
Early Notables of the Fennelay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Fennelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fennelay family to Ireland
Some of the Fennelay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 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 Fennelay family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Fennelay surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Robert Fennell, who settled in Virginia in 1623; Edward Fennell who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife, children, and servants; as well as Edward, Michael, Patrick and William Fennell, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1865..
Related Stories +
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3