Phenimore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Phenimore comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It was a name for a person who was perceived to be splendid and very likable. The surname is derived from the Old French words fin, a nickname for a very elegant man and amour, which is means love.

Early Origins of the Phenimore family

The surname Phenimore was first found in Devonshire where "Sir Gilbert Finemer or Finemore held half a knight's fee of the Honour of Clare, temp. Henry II.; and bore the red chevrons of his suzerain on a field of ermine. The name is also found at Hinksey in Berkshire; and in the church of St. Lawrence at Reading there is a monument to the memory of one of this family, with the following quaint inscription: 'Under they feet, reader, lie the remains of Richard Fynemore, his father's Benjamin, and his brother's Joseph; who coming from Oxon to the burial of a friend, found here his own grave, 1664.' The manor of Tingewick in Buckinghamshire was given in 1210 by this family to the monastery de Monet Rothomago in Normandy. It had passed to them from the Lacys before the reign of Henry III. They probably gave their name to the neighbouring village of Finmore in Oxfordshire. Hugh de Finemer was Vicar of Shabbington, Buckinghamshire in 1348." [1]

Other record confirm Finmere (Finmore) in Oxfordshire is a parish, in the union of Brackley, hundred of Ploughley. [2] Another source claims the earliest record of the family was Gilbert de Finemere who held lands here in AD 1208. [3]

"Thomas Fynnamore was a burgess of Henley-on-Thames in the reign of Henry VIII. There were several Fennimores or Vennimores in Wendebury in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. In the time of William III. there was a Ffennimore in the parish of Enstone (J.). Fynnemore or Fynmore or Finnemore was a Reading name in the 16th and 17th centuries; two mayors of Reading bore this name, namely in 1577 and 1586." [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listings of the family: Gilbert de Fenamore, Wiltshire; and Hugh Finamur, Norfolk. [5]

Early History of the Phenimore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Phenimore research. Another 224 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1208, 1349, 1539, 1507 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Phenimore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Phenimore Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Phenimore has undergone many spelling variations, including Fennimore, Fenemere, Finimore, Finnimore, Fenimore, Fenimere, Finmore and many more.

Early Notables of the Phenimore family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Phenimore family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Phenimore were among those contributors: Francis Finmore who settled in Georgia in 1775; John Finnemore arrived in Pennsylvania in 1861.



  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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