Show ContentsFine History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Fine family, who lived in Fiennes, in the region of Pas-de-Calais, Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Fine family

The surname Fine 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 Fine family

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

Fine Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Fine were recorded, including Finnes, Fienne, Fiennes and others.

Early Notables of the Fine family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was James Fiennes Lord Say (or Saye) and Sele (d. 1450), the second son of Sir William de Fiennes (d. 1405) and Elizabeth, daughter of William Batisford, a great Sussex heiress. Thomas Fiennes, 8th Baron Dacre (1472-1534), an English peer and soldier; and Richard Fiennes, 7th Baron Dacre 'of the South' (c. 1557-1613) born at Herstmonceux Castle, Sussex, England, English peer. William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele (1582-1662), was an English nobleman and politician, who helped establish a company for the settlement of the Providence Island colony and later established the New England...
Another 131 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fine Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fine Ranking

In the United States, the name Fine is the 3,297th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [3] However, in France, the name Fine is ranked the 8,590th most popular surname with an estimated 500 - 1,000 people with that name. [4]

United States Fine migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Fine arrived in North America very early:

Fine Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Fine, who landed in Virginia in 1624 aboard the ship "Neptune" [5]
  • Timothy Fine, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [5]
Fine Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hubert Fine, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [5]
  • John Fine, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1719 [5]
Fine Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Dean H.B. Fine, aged 38, who immigrated to the United States, in 1905
  • Sam Fine, who landed in Mississippi in 1906 [5]
  • E. Fine, who settled in America, in 1907
  • Agnes Fine, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States from Bray Ireland, in 1909
  • Annie Fine, aged 17, who landed in America from London, England, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Fine (post 1700) +

  • Morris Eugene Fine (1918-2015), American Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering in Service and Member of the Graduate Faculty at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
  • Tommy Fine (1914-2005), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Sylvia Fine (1913-1991), American songwriter, wife of the comedian Danny Kaye
  • Reuben Fine (1914-1993), American four-time gold chess Olympiad
  • Larry Fine (1902-1975), stage name of Louis Feinberg, American comedian and actor, best known as one of the Three Stooges
  • John Sydney Fine (1893-1978), American politician, 35th Governor of Pennsylvania
  • Irving Fine (1914-1962), American composer
  • Gary Alan Fine (b. 1950), American sociologist and author
  • Benjamin Fine (1905-1975), American journalist and author who worked at The New York Times
  • Arthur Fine (b. 1937), American philosopher of science at the University of Washington
  • ... (Another 16 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Francis James Fine, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and died in the sinking [6]

The Fine 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.

Suggested Readings for the name Fine +

  • Vinett Fine and His Descendants by Emerrett Goff Fine.

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook