Show ContentsFothergill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Fothergill family

The surname Fothergill was first found in Cumberland (now called Cumbria) at Fothergill, a seaside hamlet with a headland named Fothergill Head.

Generally it is thought that the etymology of the place is Viking in origin from "Fother's Ravine." [1]

Most of the family call themselves Scottish as the lion's share hail from there. "There is a Fothergill and a barony of Fothergill in Perth Retours, now Fortingal. The surname, however, seems to be derived from a place of the name in the North of England. " [2]

Early History of the Fothergill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fothergill research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1652, 1685, 1705, 1712, 1731, 1760, 1761 and 1780 are included under the topic Early Fothergill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fothergill Spelling Variations

During the era when a person's name, tribe and posterity was one of his most important possessions, many different spellings were found in the archives examined. Fothergill occurred in many references, and spelling variations of the name found included Fothergill, Fothergil, Fottinghaul, Fotterall and others.

Early Notables of the Fothergill family

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was

  • The Reverend Marmaduke Fothergill (1652-1731), a Yorkshire clergyman, scholar of Christian liturgy and collector of books. His donated collection is held as the Fothergill Collection at York Minster L...
  • Anthony Fothergill (1685?-1761), was an English theological writer, the youngest son of Thomas Fothergill of Brownber, Ravenstonedale, Westmorland. "Like his forefathers and descendants for many gener...
  • George Fothergill (1705-1760), was Principal of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford and the eldest son of Henry Fothergill of Lockholme in Ravenstonedale, Westmorland. [3]
  • John Fothergill (1712-1780), was a physician, born on 8 March 1712 at Carr End, Wensleydale, Yorkshire, the second son of John Fothergill, a Quaker. [3]

United States Fothergill migration to the United States +

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of illness and the elements, were buried at sea. In North America, early immigrants bearing the family name Fothergill, or a spelling variation of the surname include:

Fothergill Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Fothergill, who settled in Maryland in 1732
Fothergill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Fothergill, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1802

Australia Fothergill migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Fothergill Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Fothergill, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [4]
  • Robert Fothergill, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Thomas Lowry" in 1848 [5]

New Zealand Fothergill 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:

Fothergill Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Fothergill, aged 37, a smith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Harriet Fothergill, aged 35, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856

Contemporary Notables of the name Fothergill (post 1700) +

  • Robert "Fats" Fothergill (1897-1938), American Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1922 to 1933
  • Juanita Fothergill, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Colorado, 1960 [6]
  • B. W. Fothergill, American Republican politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from East Hartford, 1934 [6]
  • Watson Fothergill (1841-1928), English architect who designed over 100 unique buildings in Nottingham in the East Midlands of England
  • Tessa Fothergill, English founder of the British single-parent charity Gingerbread
  • Richard Fothergill (1822-1903), English ironmaster, a coalmine-owner in Wales
  • Charles Philip Fothergill (1906-1959), English woollen manufacturer and Liberal Party politician, Chairman and Managing Director of C P Fothergill & Co. Ltd of Dewsbury
  • Ann Patricia "Pat" Fothergill (1936-2017), née Waddington, English pioneer in robotics and robot control languages at the University of Edinburgh
  • John Fothergill (1730-1782), English merchant from Birmingham, England, co-founder of Soho Manufactory, (1766-1848) one of the earliest factories in Birmingham
  • Andrew Robert Fothergill (b. 1962), former English first-class cricketer from Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Francis Fothergill, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [7]

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. 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)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THOMAS LOWRY 1848. Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from
  7. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook