Show ContentsFiene History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Fiene is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Fiene family lived in Fiennes, in the region of Pas-de-Calais, Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Fiene family

The surname Fiene was first found in Kent where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor, Lords of the Cinque Ports, and Constables of Dover Castle. They are said to be descended from Conon de Fiennes, the Earl of Boulogne, of the county of Boulounais in Normandy. [2]

John de Fiennes accompanied William, Duke of Normandy in his conquest of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. In England, William was the 1st Baron de Fiennes (circa 1160-1241). The family also remained in France where Robert de Fiennes was constable of France from 1350 to 1370.

Early History of the Fiene family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fiene research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1405, 1450, 1472, 1496, 1534, 1539, 1541, 1557, 1582, 1594, 1595, 1602, 1606, 1608, 1613, 1625, 1657, 1660, 1662, 1669, 1674 and 1676 are included under the topic Early Fiene History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fiene Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Fiene are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Fiene include Finnes, Fienne, Fiennes and others.

Early Notables of the Fiene family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Anne, Lady Dacre Fiennes or Fienes (d. 1595), was daughter of Sir Richard Sackville, Treasurer of the Exchequer to Queen Elizabeth, and Steward of the Royal Manors in Kent and Sussex, who was the son...
  • Gregory Fiennes or Fienes, 10th Lord Dacre of the South (1539-1594), was the younger son of the unfortunate Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre , executed at Tyburn 1541. [3]

Migration of the Fiene family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Fiene, or a variant listed above: Richard Fine, who sailed to Virginia in 1624; Charles and Thomas Fiennes, who came to Salem Massachusetts in 1630; Margery Fynes, who arrived in America in 1756.

Contemporary Notables of the name Fiene (post 1700) +

  • Ernest Fiene (1894-1965), American graphic artist, known primarily for his varied printed works, including lithographs and etchings, elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member in 1948
  • Louis Henry "Lou" Fiene (1884-1964), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Chicago White Sox from 1906 to 1909

The Fiene 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: Fortem posce animum
Motto Translation: Wish for a strong mind.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook