Fenwik History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the name Fenwik date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Fenwik family 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 Fenwik 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." 
Early Origins of the Fenwik family
The surname Fenwik 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." 
"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." 
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." 
Further to the north in Scotland, the name is from "the village of Fenwick in the parish of the same name in Ayrshire. "  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. " 
Early History of the Fenwik family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fenwik 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 Fenwik History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fenwik Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Fenwik are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Fenwik include: Fenwick, Fenwicks, Fennick, Fenwicke and others.
Early Notables of the Fenwik 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 Fenwik Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fenwik family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Fenwik or a variant listed above: Cuthbert Fenwick who settled in Virginia in 1634; George Fenwick settled in Connecticut in 1640; John Fenwick with his wife and three daughters settled in Delaware in 1675.
Related Stories +
The Fenwik 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.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 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)