Fentoun History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Fentoun name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in the region of Fenton. The surname Fentoun originally derived from the Old English words Fenne and Tun which referred to an enclosed region by a dyke. There are numerous listings of this local name: a township near Carlisle, Cumberland; a chapelry in the parish of Beckingham, Lincoln; and a hamlet in the parish of Kettlethorpe, Lincoln.

Early Origins of the Fentoun family

The surname Fentoun was first found in Yorkshire where the Gilbert de Fenton was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls included: Robert de Fenton, Lincolnshire; and Thomas de Fenton, Devon. [1]

Ralph de Fenton, was Rector of Warham, Norfolk in 1358 [2] and the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Ricardus de Fenton; Johannes de Fenton; and Robertus de Fenton as all holdings lands there at that time. [1]

Early History of the Fentoun family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fentoun research. Another 38 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1261, 1539, 1608, 1603, 1565, 1615, 1565, 1601, 1603, 1683, 1730, 1683, 1694, 1726, 1726, 1728, 1754, 1760, 1760 and are included under the topic Early Fentoun History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fentoun 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 Fentoun include Fenton, Fentun, Fentoun, Fentown, Fentoune and many more.

Early Notables of the Fentoun family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Geoffrey Fenton (c.1539-1608), English writer and Privy Councillor (government advisor) from Nottinghamshire. His brother Edward Fenton (d. 1603), the English navigator, helped discovery the Northwest passage. They were sons of Henry Fenton of Fenton, in the parish of Sturton (formerly Stretton-le-Steeple), Nottinghamshire, and of Cecily, daughter of John Beaumont of Coleorton, Leicestershire. "Like his brother, Sir Geoffrey Fenton, he sold his hereditary patrimony, preferring the life of a soldier of fortune to the prospect of ending his days in the ignominious ease of his ancestral home." [3] Roger Fenton (1565-1615), was born in...
Another 314 words (22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fentoun Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fentoun family to Ireland

Some of the Fentoun family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 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 Fentoun family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Fentoun or a variant listed above: Robert Fenton who settled in Virginia in 1606, fourteen years before the "Mayflower"; James Fenton, who purchased land in Virginia in 1623; Henry Fenton, who received a land grant in Virginia in 1638.



The Fentoun Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Gwell angau na gwarth
Motto Translation: Death before disgrace.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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