Fetherston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Fetherston name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in Featherstone, Northumberland, a township, in the parish and union of Haltwhistle, W. division of Tindale ward. "Featherstone Castle is on the east side of the South Tyne, opposite its confluence with the Hartley burn, in a beautiful situation. It was from an early period the seat of the Featherstonehaugh family, one of whom, Timothy, raised a troop of horse for the king during the civil war, and was knighted under the royal banner. The castle stands in a spacious lawn skirted with trees of luxuriant foliage, and is an exceedingly fine structure, with embattled walls, and four towers, of which three are of recent erection; the interior is enriched by some splendid pictures, and attached are a domestic chapel, and a well-arranged suite of offices." [1]

Featherstone is also a chapelry, in the parish of Wolverhampton, union of Penkridge in Staffordshire and a parish, partly in the Lower division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, and partly in the Upper division of that of Osgoldcross, union of Barwick (under Gilbert's act), in the West Riding of Yorkshire. [1]

As far as these parishes are concerned, the Staffordshire parish dates back to Saxon times (10th century) when it was known as Feotherer(e)stan but later as Ferdestan in 1086 [2] and the West Yorkshire parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was known as Ferdeston. [3]

Early Origins of the Fetherston family

The surname Fetherston was first found in Northumberland at Featherstone Castle, a large Gothic style country mansion on the bank of the River South Tyne, near the town of Haltwhistle.

The 11th century manor house belonged to the Featherstonehaugh family and dates back to the 13th-century. A square three-storey pele tower was added in 1330 by Thomas de Featherstonehaugh. The castle was held in good repair through the centuries as a survey from the year 1541 reported the property to be a tower in good repair and occupied by Thomas Featherstonehaugh. For a brief time, the castle was sold to Sir William Howard in the 17th century, but was repurchased from the Earl of Carlisle in 1711 by Matthew Featherstonehaugh (1662-1762).

Some moved west to Kirk-Oswald in Cumberland. "The estates were granted by Elizabeth to the Dodding family, and subsequently to the Featherstonhaughs, of Northumberland, who have been settled here since the time of James I., and whose mansion, called The College, is a venerable structure, formerly the residence of the provost and fellows of the college. It is romantically situated on a gentle eminence rising from the margin of the Raven beck, at a short distance from the town; and retains its ancient Oriel window, and other interesting details of its original style. The mansion was plundered by the parliamentarian forces; and there is still preserved the copy of a petition presented to the parliament by the widow of Sir Timothy Featherstonhaugh, in which the loss is estimated at £10,000." [1]

Early History of the Fetherston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fetherston research. Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1540, 1886, 1575, 1621, 1624, 1621, 1638, 1628, 1711, 1654, 1746, 1776, 1830 and 1923 are included under the topic Early Fetherston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fetherston Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Fetherston has undergone many spelling variations, including Featherston, Featherstone, Fetherstone, Featherstonhaugh, Featherstun, Fetherston, Featherstonaugh, Featherstonhoe, Fetherstonhoe, Fetherstunhaugh, Fetherstonaugh and many more.

Early Notables of the Fetherston family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Richard Fetherston (Fetherstone, Featherstone) (executed in 1540), an English Roman Catholic priest, chaplain to Catharine of Aragon and tutor to her daughter, Mary Tudor, he was beatified by Pope Leo XIII, 29 December 1886. Francis Fetherston or Fetherstonhaugh (born c. 1575) was an English politician, Member...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fetherston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fetherston family to Ireland

Some of the Fetherston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fetherston migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Fetherston were among those contributors:

Fetherston Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Fetherston, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [4]
  • Ellen Fetherston, who landed in Virginia in 1642 [4]
Fetherston Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Luke Fetherston, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Fetherston (post 1700) +

  • William T. Fetherston, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1936, 1940; Chair of Richmond County Democratic Party, 1936-41 [5]
  • Sir George Ralph Fetherston (1852-1923), 6th Baronet, whose Baronetcy became extinct on his death
  • Sir Thomas John Fetherston (1824-1869), 5th Baronet
  • Sir Thomas Francis Fetherston (1800-1853), 4th Baronet
  • Sir George Ralph Fetherston (1784-1853), 3rd Baronet, MP for Longford (1819 to 1830)
  • Sir Thomas Fetherston (1759-1819), 2nd Baronet, MP for Longford (1801 to 1819)
  • Sir Ralph Fetherston (1731-1780), 1st Baronet of Ardagh, County Longford


The Fetherston 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: Valens et volens
Motto Translation: Able and willing.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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