Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Fentleroy was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a defender of the king. Less a nickname than a motto adopted as a name, Fontleroy translates roughly from the Old French as defend the king. The motto would have been rendered Defendez le Roi in French.
Early Origins of the Fentleroy family
Wiltshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Fentleroy family
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Fentleroy Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Fontleroy, Fauntleroy, Fautleroy, Fantlaroy and many more.
Early Notables of the Fentleroy family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Fentleroy family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Fentleroy or a variant listed above: James Fontleroy who settled in Boston in 1679; R. Fontleroy settled in Carolina in 1872.
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