Fennelley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Fennelley is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Fennelley family

The surname Fennelley 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. [1]

"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." [2]

Early History of the Fennelley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fennelley research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1292, 1296, 1661 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Fennelley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fennelley Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Fennelley has been spelled many different ways, including Fennell, Vennell, Venall, Fenel and others.

Early Notables of the Fennelley family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Fennelley family to Ireland

Some of the Fennelley 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 Fennelley family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Fennelleys to arrive in North America: 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..



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ 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


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