Furniss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Furniss name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided 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 Furniss family

The surname Furniss 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 Furniss family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Furniss 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 Furniss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Furniss Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Furniss include Furness, Furniss, Furnesse, Furnes, Furnesed, Furnace, Furnice, Furnas and many more.

Early Notables of the Furniss family (pre 1700)

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


United States Furniss migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Furniss or a variant listed above:

Furniss Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Furniss, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1683 [1]
Furniss Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C Furniss, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
  • G Furniss, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • R Furniss, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • John Furniss, who landed in Mississippi in 1857 [1]
  • Miles Furniss, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1866 [1]

Australia Furniss migration to Australia +

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

Furniss Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Furniss, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [2]
  • Elizabeth Furniss, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [2]
  • Thomas Furniss, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [2]
  • Thomas Furniss, English Convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [3]

New Zealand Furniss 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:

Furniss Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Furniss, aged 14, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Smith Furniss, aged 17, a joiner, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • William Furniss, aged 28, a cabinet maker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Sarah Furniss, aged 27, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • John Furniss, aged 29, a punter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Golden Sea" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Furniss (post 1700) +

  • Frederick "Fred" Furniss (1922-2017), English footballer for Sheffield United (1946-1955)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Samuel G. Furniss (1879-1914), English Third Class Passenger from Liverpool, England, United Kingdom who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland [4]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FAIRLIE/FAIRLEE 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Fairlie.htm
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/aboukir/1851
  4. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html


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