Show ContentsFurnell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Furnell comes from when the family resided by a fern-covered hill. The name is both a surname and a place-name, and is derived from the Old English elements fearn, for fern, and hyll, the word for hill. [1] Alternatively, another source notes that the surname denotes a "dweller at the Fern Slope or Corner [Old English fearn + heal(h)] for Farnhill." [2]

Early Origins of the Furnell family

The surname Furnell was first found in East Cheshire at Fernhill, or at Farnhill in West Riding of Yorkshire or at Farnell Wood in Kent. Some of the first records of the name include: Richard de Farenhull in 1214; William de Fernhulle in 1263 and Hugh de la Fernhull in 1275; John de Farnhull, listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273; and William atte Farnhulle in 1298. [1]

In Scotland, the name was derived from "the lands of Famell in Angus. Between 1214 and 1246 Duncan de Ferneuel witnessed charters by Malcolm, earl of Angus, and a charter of land in the territory of Kerimor to Arbroath Abbey. Meg Fernwale is recorded in Aberdeen, 1408." [3]

Early History of the Furnell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Furnell research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1379 and 1246 are included under the topic Early Furnell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Furnell Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Furnell include Farnell, Farnel, Farnall, Farnyll, Farnill and many more.

Early Notables of the Furnell family (pre 1700)

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

United States Furnell migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Furnell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Strong Furnell, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1643 [4]

Canada Furnell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Furnell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Noah Furnell U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Furnell (post 1700) +

  • Raymond Furnell (1936-2006), English clergyman, Dean of York Minster (1994-2003), Provost of St Edmundsbury (1981 -1994), Dean of York (1994 -2003)
  • James "Jim" Furnell (b. 1937), English football goalkeeper who played from 1954 to 1976
  • George Furnell (b. 1874), English football goalkeeper who played in the late 1800s
  • Harry Furnell (1898-1973), former Australian rules footballer who played for Carlton (1918-1919)
  • Brigadier Herbert Gibling Furnell (1898-1973), Australian Acting Director-General of Medical Services, Army Headquarters from 1947 to 1948 [6]

HMS Royal Oak
  • Leslie Thomas Furnell (d. 1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [7]

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. 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)
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, August 30) Herbert Furnell. Retrieved from
  7. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook