Varnown History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Varnown name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided at Farnham, in several different counties including Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex, Suffolk, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case the surname Varnown was originally derived from the Old English words fearn + hamm which means a fern-covered homestead or property.

Early Origins of the Varnown family

The surname Varnown was first found in one of the many villages names Farnham throughout England in the following counties or shires: Dorset, Essex, North Yorkshire, Suffolk, and Surrey. Farnham Common and Farnham Royal are located in Buckinghamshire. [1]

The name has numerous listings in the Domesday Book with various spellings that were in use at the time: Fernham, Dorset; Phernham Essex; Fareham North Yorkshire; Farnham, Suffolk; and Fernham Surrey. Farnham Royal was listed as Fernham Riall. [2]

While one would suppose the surname originated from one or more of the aforementioned locals, another reference suggests we must look to Leicestershire, specifically Quorndon to find the surname's true origin as in "this ancient family was certainly seated at Quorndon two descents before the reign of Edward I." [3]

Early History of the Varnown family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Varnown research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1312, 1483, 1753, 1642, 1636 and are included under the topic Early Varnown History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Varnown 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 Varnown include Farnham, Farnhams, Farnhan, Fearnham, Farneham and others.

Early Notables of the Varnown family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Richard Farnham (d. 1642), fanatic, "a weaver who came from Colchester to Whitechapel about 1636, where he and a fellow-craftsman, John Bull, announced that they were prophets inspired with ‘the...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Varnown Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Varnown family to Ireland

Some of the Varnown family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Varnown family

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 Varnown or a variant listed above: Thomas and Ralph Farnham who had came to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1634; as did Henry Farnham of Warwickshire, who settled there in 1644. Alice, Mary, and Ralph Farnham settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635.



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.


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