Firbank History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The lineage of the name Firbank begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived near a scenic hillside. The surname Firbank is derived from the Old English words fair, which means lovely, and bank, which means bank or hill. However, the first portion of the name may sometimes be derived from the Old English word faern, which means fern. [1]

Early Origins of the Firbank family

The surname Firbank was first found in Cumbria at Firbank, anciently Frithbank, a parish of Kirby Lonsdale in Westmorland. [2] [3] Historically part of Westmorland, this village and civil parish has always been relatively small with a population of 199 in the late 1800s and today less than one hundred people.

Early records show Robert Fairebank, son of Farebank in Yorkshire in 1583 [4] and Robert Firebancke, of Wennington, parish of Mellinge listed in the Lancashire Wills at Richmond in 1638. [3]

Early History of the Firbank family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Firbank research. Another 48 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1594, 1668, 1633 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Firbank History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Firbank 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 Firbank has undergone many spelling variations, including Fairbanks, Fairbank, Fairbankes, Firbank and many more.

Early Notables of the Firbank family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Firbank Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Firbank family

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 Firbank were among those contributors: John Fairbank who settled in Virginia in 1653; Elizabeth Fairbanke settled in Barbados in 1691; Mr. & Mrs. Fairbanks arrived in Boston in 1764; George Fairbanks arrived in New York in 1842.


Contemporary Notables of the name Firbank (post 1700) +

  • Heather Firbank (1888-1954), English society woman, now known for her fine wardrobe of clothes kept at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, daughter of Sir Joseph Thomas Firbank
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Godfrey Christopher Firbank MC (1895-1947), English cricketer who played from 1922 to 1927
  • Arthur Annesley Ronald Firbank (1886-1926), English novelist, best known for Valmouth and Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli
  • Joseph Firbank (1819-1886), British railway contractor and politician, son of a Durham miner, was born at Bishop Auckland in 1819, High Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1885 [5]
  • Sir Joseph Thomas Firbank (1850-1910), British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament for Hull East (1895-1906)
  • Thomas Joseph Firbank (1910-2000), Canadian author, farmer, soldier and engineer

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Charles F Firbank, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [6]


The Firbank 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: Finem respice
Motto Translation: Consider the end.


  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  6. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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