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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Picts were the ancient Scottish tribe where the ancestors of the Finnell family lived. The name Finnell comes from the Gaelic Fionnlagh which is often Anglicized to fair hero.

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The surname Finnell was first found in Banffshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Bhanbh), former Scottish county located in the northeasterly Grampian region of Scotland, now of divided between the Council Areas of Moray and Aberdeenshire, where they were descended from the Chiefs of the Clan Farquharson, one of the great federation of 26 Clans, known as the Clan Chattan.

Before the first dictionaries appeared in the last few hundred years, scribes spelled according to sound. spelling variations are common among Scottish names. Finnell has been spelled Findlay, Findlow, Findlaw, Finley, Finlay and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Finnell research. Another 427 words (30 lines of text) covering the years 1480, 1547, 1629, 1755, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Finnell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Finnell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Finnell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In those unstable times, many had no choice but to leave their beloved homelands. Sickness and poverty hounded travelers to North America, but those who made it were welcomed with land and opportunity. These settlers gave the young nations of Canada and the United States a strong backbone as they stood up for their beliefs as United Empire Loyalists and in the American War of Independence. In this century, the ancestors of these brave Scots have begun to recover their illustrious heritage through Clan societies and other heritage organizations. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Scottish settlers bearing the name Finnell:

Finnell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Finnell, who arrived in New York in 1853
  • Daniel Finnell, aged 33, arrived in New York, NY in 1854

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  • John W. Finnell, American politician, Secretary of State of Kentucky, 1848-51
  • Charles Finnell, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Texas State House of Representatives 68th District, 1998


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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: Fortis in arduis
Motto Translation: Brave in difficulties.

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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  3. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  6. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  7. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Finnell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Finnell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 22 April 2016 at 17:07.

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