Show ContentsFennelly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Fennelly family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living 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 Fennelly family

The surname Fennelly 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 Fennelly family

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

Fennelly Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Fennelly include Fennell, Vennell, Venall, Fenel and others.

Early Notables of the Fennelly family

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

Ireland Migration of the Fennelly family to Ireland

Some of the Fennelly 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.

Australia Fennelly migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Fennelly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Fennelly, aged 17, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Nashwauk" [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Fennelly (post 1700) +

  • Parker Fennelly (1891-1988), American actor who appeared in ten films, numerous television episodes and hundreds of radio programs
  • James Mathias Fennelly (1929-2000), American academic, Chairman of the Department of Philosophy, Professor of History of Religions at Adelphi University, New York
  • Francis John "Frank" Fennelly (1860-1920), American Major League Baseball shortstop for the Washington Nationals (1884), Cincinnati Red Stockings (1884–1888), Philadelphia Athletics (1888–1889), and Brooklyn Gladiators (1890)
  • William "Bill" Fennelly (b. 1957), American basketball coach, current head women's basketball coach at Iowa State University
  • Joseph Fennelly, American politician, Justice of New York Supreme Court 2nd District, 1940-51 [4]
  • Francis John Fennelly (1860-1920), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives Tenth Bristol District, 1905-06 [4]
  • Michael Fennelly (b. 1985), Irish hurling manager and former player
  • Mary Fennelly, Irish sportsperson, 19th president of the Camogie Association (1982-1985)
  • Liam Fennelly (1958-1981), Irish retired hurler for Kilkenny (1981-1992)
  • Leann Fennelly, Irish camogie player who played in the 2009 All Ireland camogie final
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  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
  3. South Australian Register Monday 14th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Nashwauk 1855. Retrieved
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from on Facebook