Furnul History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Furnul family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived 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 Furnul family

The surname Furnul 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 Furnul family

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

Furnul Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Furnul include Farnell, Farnel, Farnall, Farnyll, Farnill and many more.

Early Notables of the Furnul family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Furnul family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Furnul were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Robert Farnell purchased land in Virginia in 1623. Mary Farnell also landed in Virginia, later, in 1655.



  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)


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