Show ContentsFishburne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Fishburne family

The surname Fishburne was first found in Durham at Fishbourne, Fishburn. New Fishbourn, is a parish, in the union of West Hampnett, hundred of Box and Stockbridge, rape of Chichester in Sussex. "The remains of a Roman bath with a tessellated pavement were discovered in 1812, near the site of the Roman road here. " [1]

This parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Fiseborne. [2]

However, our interest is in Fishburn, a township, in the parish and union of Sedgefield, N. E. division of Stockton ward, S. division of the county of Durham. For it is there that "the family of Fishburn, who assumed the local name, were the earliest proprietors on record of the vill and manor; and among other landowners of whom mention occurs, have been the families of Bulmer, Widdrington, and Conyers. " [1]

This township date back to at least 1190, when it was known as Fisseburne. [3] Both locations derive their name from the Old English "fisc" + "burna," which combined meant "fish stream, stream where fish are caught." [3]

There is another Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight that dates back to 1267 when it was known as Fisseburne.

The first record of the family was found in the aforementioned Durham when Ranulf of Fisheburn held estates in that county in 1250. [4]

From this early entry, the name became widespread as in Scotland a few years later, "an Englishman of this name was Lord of Red Castle, Lunan, in 1306. Probably from Fishburn in co. Durham. " [5]

The Fishburn, built at Whitby in 1780 was the largest of the three First Fleet storeships to Botany Bay, Australia.

Early History of the Fishburne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fishburne research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1332, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Fishburne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fishburne Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Fishburne has been recorded under many different variations, including Fishburn, Fishborn, Fishbourn, Fishbourne, Fishburne, Fishborne, Fishbyrn, Fishbyrne, Fyshborn, Fyshborne, Fyshburn and many more.

Early Notables of the Fishburne family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Fishburne family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Fishburne or a variant listed above: settlers, who arrived along the eastern seaboard, from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands.

Contemporary Notables of the name Fishburne (post 1700) +

  • Laurence Fishburne (b. 1961), American actor and writer from Augusta, Georgia, best known for playing Morpheus in The Matrix trilogy

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3) on Facebook