Finnemore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Finnemore family lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Finnemore was a name given to a person who was perceived to be splendid and very likable. The surname is derived from the Old French words fin, a nickname for a very elegant man and amour, which is means love.

Early Origins of the Finnemore family

The surname Finnemore was first found in Devonshire where "Sir Gilbert Finemer or Finemore held half a knight's fee of the Honour of Clare, temp. Henry II.; and bore the red chevrons of his suzerain on a field of ermine. The name is also found at Hinksey in Berkshire; and in the church of St. Lawrence at Reading there is a monument to the memory of one of this family, with the following quaint inscription: 'Under they feet, reader, lie the remains of Richard Fynemore, his father's Benjamin, and his brother's Joseph; who coming from Oxon to the burial of a friend, found here his own grave, 1664.' The manor of Tingewick in Buckinghamshire was given in 1210 by this family to the monastery de Monet Rothomago in Normandy. It had passed to them from the Lacys before the reign of Henry III. They probably gave their name to the neighbouring village of Finmore in Oxfordshire. Hugh de Finemer was Vicar of Shabbington, Buckinghamshire in 1348." [1]

Other record confirm Finmere (Finmore) in Oxfordshire is a parish, in the union of Brackley, hundred of Ploughley. [2] Another source claims the earliest record of the family was Gilbert de Finemere who held lands here in AD 1208. [3]

"Thomas Fynnamore was a burgess of Henley-on-Thames in the reign of Henry VIII. There were several Fennimores or Vennimores in Wendebury in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. In the time of William III. there was a Ffennimore in the parish of Enstone (J.). Fynnemore or Fynmore or Finnemore was a Reading name in the 16th and 17th centuries; two mayors of Reading bore this name, namely in 1577 and 1586." [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listings of the family: Gilbert de Fenamore, Wiltshire; and Hugh Finamur, Norfolk. [5]

Early History of the Finnemore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Finnemore research. Another 224 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1208, 1349, 1539, 1507 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Finnemore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Finnemore Spelling Variations

Finnemore has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Finnemore have been found, including Fennimore, Fenemere, Finimore, Finnimore, Fenimore, Fenimere, Finmore and many more.

Early Notables of the Finnemore family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Finnemore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Finnemore migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Finnemores to arrive on North American shores:

Finnemore Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Finnemore, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1861

New Zealand Finnemore migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Finnemore Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • H. Finnemore, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen of the Deep" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1854 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Finnemore (post 1700) +

  • Martha Finnemore (b. 1959), American constructivist scholar of international relations and university professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University
  • Joseph Finnemore (1860-1939), English illustrator and artist known for his many illustrations in various books
  • Sir Donald Leslie Finnemore (1889-1974), British Liberal Party politician and judge
  • John David Finnemore (b. 1977), British comedy writer and actor, best known for his radio sitcom Cabin Pressure and his radio sketch show John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme
  • John Finnemore (1863-1915), British school teacher and young reader writer of fictional novels and history and geography texts, known for his Teddy Lester Series


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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