Show ContentsFentume History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Fentume is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived in the region of Fenton. The surname Fentume 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 Fentume family

The surname Fentume 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 Fentume family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fentume 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 Fentume History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fentume 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. Fentume has been spelled many different ways, including Fenton, Fentun, Fentoun, Fentown, Fentoune and many more.

Early Notables of the Fentume 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 Fentume Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fentume family to Ireland

Some of the Fentume 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 Fentume 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 Fentumes to arrive in North America: 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 Fentume 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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