Phairbank History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Phairbank is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived near a scenic hillside. The surname Phairbank is derived from the Old English words fair, which means lovely, and bank, which means bank or hill. However, the first portion of the name may sometimes be derived from the Old English word faern, which means fern. [1]

Early Origins of the Phairbank family

The surname Phairbank was first found in Cumbria at Firbank, anciently Frithbank, a parish of Kirby Lonsdale in Westmorland. [2] [3] Historically part of Westmorland, this village and civil parish has always been relatively small with a population of 199 in the late 1800s and today less than one hundred people.

Early records show Robert Fairebank, son of Farebank in Yorkshire in 1583 [4] and Robert Firebancke, of Wennington, parish of Mellinge listed in the Lancashire Wills at Richmond in 1638. [3]

Early History of the Phairbank family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Phairbank research. Another 48 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1594, 1668, 1633 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Phairbank History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Phairbank Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Phairbank are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Phairbank include: Fairbanks, Fairbank, Fairbankes, Firbank and many more.

Early Notables of the Phairbank family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Phairbank Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Phairbank family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Phairbank or a variant listed above: John Fairbank who settled in Virginia in 1653; Elizabeth Fairbanke settled in Barbados in 1691; Mr. & Mrs. Fairbanks arrived in Boston in 1764; George Fairbanks arrived in New York in 1842.



The Phairbank Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Finem respice
Motto Translation: Consider the end.


  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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