The origins of the Fernlie name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. It comes from when the family lived in a forest glade carpeted with ferns. The name Fernlie is derived from two Old English elements: fearn,
the old English word for ferns, and leah,
a word for a clearing in a forest.
Early Origins of the Fernlie family
The surname Fernlie was first found in Farnley, a village and civil parish in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire
. This place name dates back to c. 1030 and was originally spelt Fernleage eluding to its Saxon heritage. There were three listings of separate villages in the Domesday Book
of 1086: Fernelai; Fernelei; and Fereleia. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
All were in the same area of Yorkshire. There are two Farnley Halls each with different origins but neither were held by the Fernlie family. Alternatively, the name could have originated in Derbyshire
at Fernilee, a township, in the parish of Hope, union of Chapel-en-le-Frith, hundred
of High-Peak that was originally spelt Ferneley in the 12th century. Both place names literally mean "woodland clearing where ferns grow," from the Old English words "fearn" + "leah." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Some of the first records of the name include: Hugh de Fernlee who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Worcestershire
in 1206; and Hugh de Fernelay who was listed in Yorkshire
in 1316. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
The Yorkshire Poll Tax
Rolls of 1379 had the following entries: Johannes de Farnelay, living at Fernelay; Johannes de Fernelee; Margeria de Fernelee; and Johanna de Ferenlowe. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the Fernlie family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fernlie research.Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fernlie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fernlie Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations
are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon
surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Fernlie were recorded, including Fearnley, Fernlie, Fernley and others.
Early Notables of the Fernlie family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Fernlie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fernlie family to the New World and Oceana
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Fernlie family emigrate to North America: Thomas Fernley who settled in Virginia in 1623; James, John and Thomas Fernley all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.