Fenwick History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Fenwick first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in Fenwick, which was in Northumberland and in the West Riding of Yorkshire. This habitation name was originally derived from the Old English fenn, which means marsh and wic, which literally means a dairy farm. In this case the original bearers of the surname Fenwick lived in marshy area where they was a dairy farm.

"Fenwick Tower was the seat of the ancient family of the same name, so numerous in Northumberland; and so continued till 1688, when Sir John Fenwick alienated his estates for the sum of £20,000." [1]

Early Origins of the Fenwick family

The surname Fenwick was first found in Northumberland where the family held a family seat at Stamfordham from ancient times. "The church [at Stamfordham], erected about the 13th century, is in the early English style, and stands west of the market-cross; the chancel was built by the Fenwicks, of Fenwick Tower, and contains several monumental inscriptions to that ancient family and the Swinburnes." [1]

"In pulling down the remains of Fenwick Tower here, in 1775, several hundred gold nobles, of the coinage of Edward III., were found in an open stone chest, supposed to have been concealed in 1360 on the invasion of David, King of Scotland, who made prisoners the two sons of Sir John Fenwick, then owner of the castle." [1]

Over in Blagdon, another branch of the family was found and held estates for some time. "This place, which lies on the south side of the Blyth, was formerly called Blakedene, and was part of the ancient barony of Morpeth: the family of Fenwick flourished on the spot for three centuries, the 15th, 16th, and 17th." [1]

Further to the north in Scotland, the name is from "the village of Fenwick in the parish of the same name in Ayrshire. " [2] The earliest record of the family was Nicholaus Fynwyk who was provost of Ayr in 1313. Later, Reginald de Fynwyck or Fynvyk appears as bailie and alderman of the same burgh in 1387 and 1401. Interestingly, there is one listing of the family with the lower case "ff" prefix: "Robert de ffenwic who witnessed a confirmation charter by de Vmframvilla to the Abbey of Kelso c. 1220." So as to tie this family with the aforementioned Northumberland entry, we found the following: "The Border Clan of Fenwicks, were most probably kin to the Fenwicks or Fenwykes of Northumberland who took their name from their ancient castle near Stamfordham. " [2]

Early History of the Fenwick family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fenwick research. Another 152 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1313, 1697, 1578, 1589, 1570, 1658, 1624, 1648, 1593, 1670, 1603, 1657, 1640, 1654, 1657, 1617, 1676, 1645, 1676, 1645, 1694, 1662, 1701, 1689, 1695, 1618, 1683, 1675, 1645, 1697 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Fenwick History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fenwick Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Fenwick has appeared include Fenwick, Fenwicks, Fennick, Fenwicke and others.

Early Notables of the Fenwick family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Fenwick, Sheriff of Northumberland in 1578 and 1589; Sir John Fenwick, 1st Baronet (c.1570-c.1658), an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1624 and 1648, supporter of the Parliamentary cause in the Civil War; John Fenwicke (c.1593-1670), supported the parliamentary cause during the English Civil War; George Fenwick (c. 1603-1657), an English Parliamentarian, and a leading colonist in the short-lived Saybrook Colony, Member of Parliament for Morpeth (1640-52) and Member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed (1654-1657); Sir William Fenwick, 2nd Baronet (c.1617-1676), an English landowner and politician who sat in...
Another 113 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fenwick Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fenwick migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Fenwick arrived in North America very early:

Fenwick Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Cutberd Fenwick, who arrived in Maryland in 1633 [3]
  • Cuthbert Fenwick, who landed in Maryland in 1634 [3]
  • Cuthbert Fenwick, who settled in Virginia in 1634
  • George Fenwick, who arrived in New England in 1635 [3]
  • George Fenwick, who settled in Connecticut in 1640
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Fenwick Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Fenwick, aged 27, who landed in Maryland in 1813 [3]
  • B Fenwick, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]
  • Joseph Fenwick, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1886 [3]
  • Adam Fenwick, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1886 [3]
  • Andrew Fenwick, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1886 [3]
Fenwick Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • W H Fenwick, who landed in Mississippi in 1906 [3]

Canada Fenwick migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fenwick Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Edward Fenwick, aged 28, who arrived in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Mathew Fenwick, aged 16, who arrived in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Edward Fenwick, who settled in Fort Cumberland Nova Scotia with his wife and five children in 1778

Australia Fenwick migration to Australia +

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

Fenwick Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
Fenwick Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Fenwick, English convict who was convicted in Northumberland, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 5th June 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Henry Fenwick, a rope-maker, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Francis Fenwick, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Thomas E. Fenwick, aged 30, a draper, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Marion" [7]
  • William Fenwick, aged 25, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Calphurnia" [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Fenwick migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Fenwick Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Isabella Fenwick, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Storm Cloud" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 30th July 1861 [9]
  • Mr. Ralph G. Fenwick, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gertrude" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th February 1863 [10]
  • Ralph G. Fenwick, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863
  • Miss Jane Fenwick, (b. 1841), aged 24, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Eastern Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 4th January 1865 [10]
  • Mr. Fenwick, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Easby" arriving in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 31st October 1874 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Fenwick (post 1700) +

  • Irene Fenwick (1887-1936), American stage and silent film actress, wife of Lionel Barrymore
  • Benedict Joseph Fenwick S.J. (1782-1846), American prelate of the Catholic Church, Bishop of Boston (1825 until his death in 1846)
  • Bishop Edward Dominic Fenwick (1768-1832), American clergyman, Bishop of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Robert Richard Fenwick (b. 1946), American retired Major League Baseball player
  • Millicent Fenwick (1910-1992), American politician and diplomat
  • Millicent Hammond Fenwick (1910-1992), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from New Jersey 5th District, 1975-83; Member of New Jersey Republican State Committee, 1976 [11]
  • M. Fenwick, American politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Paducah, Kentucky, 1995 [11]
  • Joseph Fenwick, American politician, U.S. Consul in Bordeaux, 1790-97 [11]
  • Jason Fenwick, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maryland, 2004 [11]
  • Francis Columbus Fenwick, American politician, U.S. Consul in Nantes, 1821-38 [11]
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania


The Fenwick 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: Toujours fidele
Motto Translation: Always faithful.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1826
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The MARION 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Marion.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CALPHURNIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Calpurnia.htm
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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