Furness History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Furness is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in the district named Furness on the South coast of Cumberland. Eraly records show the name in Lancashire too. The place name is thought to have Old Norse origins which was usually assigned as a name for a peninsula.

Early Origins of the Furness family

The surname Furness was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Furness family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Furness research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1658, 1712, 1700, 1701, 1687, 1733 and 1708 are included under the topic Early Furness History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Furness Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Furness has been spelled many different ways, including Furness, Furniss, Furnesse, Furnes, Furnesed, Furnace, Furnice, Furnas and many more.

Early Notables of the Furness family (pre 1700)

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Furness Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Furness Ranking

In the United States, the name Furness is the 17,769th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]


United States Furness migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Furnesss to arrive in North America:

Furness Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Furness, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1683
  • Daniel Furness, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1683
  • Daniel Furness, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1683 [2]
  • Henry Furness, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1683 [2]
  • John Furness, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1683 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Furness Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Amy Furness, who settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1719
  • Ann Furness, who arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1719
  • Jacob Furness, who settled in New York in 1723
  • Jacob Furness, who arrived in New York in 1725 [2]
  • John Furness, who arrived in America in 1735
Furness Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Furness, who settled in Boston in 1849
  • John and Edward Furness, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1868
  • Edwin Furness, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1872

Australia Furness migration to Australia +

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

Furness Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Furness, English convict who was convicted in Salford, Greater Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Emerald Isle" on 25th June 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Thomas Furness, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Glen Huntley" in 1849 [4]
  • Frederick Furness, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Hyde" in 1849 [5]
  • Frederick Furness, aged 26, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Utopia"

New Zealand Furness 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:

Furness Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Furness, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mary Furness, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Birman
  • Smith Furness, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Birman
  • Mr. Henry Furness, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Kingston" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 29th December 1858 [6]
  • William Furness, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Furness (post 1700) +

  • Frank Heyling Furness (1839-1912), acclaimed American architect and Medal of Honor recipient
  • Elizabeth Mary Furness (1916-1994), American, better known as Betty Furness, actress, consumer advocate and current affairs commentator
  • Horace Howard Furness (1833-1912), American Shakespearean scholar
  • Lieutenant Christopher Furness (1912-1940), British soldier awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII [8]

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. John William Furness, British Musician from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Edward Furness, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [10]


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 27th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/emily
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The GLEN HUNTLEY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849GlenHuntly.htm
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WILLIAM HYDE 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849WilliamHyde.htm
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 12th December 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ World War 2 Awards.com - FURNESS, Christopher. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Christopher Furness. Retrieved from http://www.ww2awards.com/person/54
  9. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  10. ^ 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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