Fournel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Fournel name begins with the Norman invaders of Britain. The name is derived from some of the many place names in Northern France created from the Old French word "fournel." One family resided in the area of Furneau-sur-Baise, near Falaise, France. [1] The Normans frequently used the name of their estate in Normandy as part of their name. Other Norman invaders took names from their recently acquired estates in England.

Early Origins of the Fournel family

The surname Fournel was first found in Somerset where Odo de Furnell was held in capite in 1086 [2] Later, Galfrid de Furnell was Sheriff of Devon 1 Hen. II (during the first year of Henry II's reign.) His son Henry followed him in the office 25 Hen. II. and 7 Richard I. Alan Furneaux, in 1165, was one of the Justiciaries. One of their seats was at Kentisbere.

"Within less than forty years after the conflict at Hastings, Henry I. granted the Manor of Fen Ottery, in Devon, to Allan de Furneaux, whose soil Galfrid de Furneaux of that place served as Sheriff of Devon, in 1154, as did his son Sir Alan de Furneaux in 1199. From the Testa de Neville and other sources, the Manor of Fen Ottery can be traced in the possession of the same family down to John de Furneaux, temp. Henry V. [3] A branch of this parent stem was established in Somersetshire, by Henry, brother of Sir Alan Furneaux, the Sheriff in 1199, and held the manors of Ashington, Kilve, &c. Three of its descendants, all bearing the Christian name of Matthew, occur on the list of Sheriffs of Devon: the last Sir Matthew dying in 1315, the year of his Shrievalty. " [4]

Another, Fenn Ottery, "was for many descents held by the Furneaux by sergeantry, and so continued unto the latter end of King Edward II.'s days." They had received it from Henry I. The last heir, Sir Matthew, died in 1315, the year of his shrievalty. The name is found in Northumberland, when Robert Fitz Roger and Ralph de Furnell were joint Sheriffs in 1200, 1201, and 1202. [5]

Early History of the Fournel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fournel research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1726, 1783 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Fournel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fournel Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Furneaux, Furnell, Fournel and others.

Early Notables of the Fournel family (pre 1700)

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

Fournel Ranking

In France, the name Fournel is the 2,109th most popular surname with an estimated 2,995 people with that name. [6]


United States Fournel migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Fournel or a variant listed above were:

Fournel Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jacques Fournel married in America in 1671

Canada Fournel migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fournel Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Jacques Fournel, son of Nicolas and Charlotte, who married Louise Hubinet, daughter of Jean and Aimée, in Quebec on 12th October 1671 [7]
  • Jean Fournel, son of Jacques and Marguerite, who married Anne-Thérèse Levasseur, daughter of Louis and Marguerite, in Quebec on 30th June 1696 [7]
Fournel Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jacques Fournel, son of Jacques and Louise, who married Marie-Marguerite Richard, daughter of Pierre and Marguerite, in Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec on 17th April 1708 [7]
  • Jean-Louis Fournel, son of Jean and Anne-Thérèse, who married Marie-Anne Barbel, daughter of Jacques and Marie-Anne, in Quebec on 31st December 1723 [7]
  • Jean Fournel, son of Jean and Marthe, who married Louise-Claire Bissot, daughter of François and Marie, in Quebec on 13th May 1726 [7]
  • Thierry Fournel, son of Jacques and Marie-Marguerite, who married Geneviève Lauriot, daughter of Joseph and Charlotte, in Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec on 1st February 1745 [7]
  • Pierre Fournel, son of Jacques and Marie-Marguerite, who married Marie-Françoise Taillon, daughter of Jean-François and Marie-Antoinette, in Terrebonne, Quebec on 5th Fberuary 1753 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  4. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  7. ^ Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 1, Institut Drouin, 1958.


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