Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Fenton Name
Origins of Fenton:
The surname of Fenton is said to be a locational surname that hails from the country of England. Being a locational surname, this means that it was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. In the case of the surname of Fenton, there are towns, villages, and townships such named in the areas of Lincolnshire, Staffordshire, South Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumbria. The name itself hails from the Old English Pre 7th Century word of “fen,” which can be translated to mean “ a marsh,” combined with the element of the Old English word of “tun,” which can mean a “fenced enclosure.” In this case, the surname of Fenton can also be considered as a topographical surname. A topographical surname is used to describe someone who lived on or near a residential landmark. This landmark could be either man made or natural, and would have been easily identifiable in the area from which it hailed, thus making the people who lived near it easily distinguished. In the case of the surname of Fenton, it would have been given to someone who lived near a fenced-in marsh.
More common variations are: Feenton, Fentone, Fentton, Fentonw, Feinton, Venton, Fanton, Finton, Fenten, Ventom
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Fenton was found within the country of England. One person by the name of Walter de Fenton was mentioned in the document known as the Pleas Rolls in the county of Yorkshire in the year of 1199. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Richard I of England, who was known throughout the ages and commonly referred to as “The Lionheart.” King Richard I of England ruled from the year of 1189 to the year of 1199. Other mentions of the surname of Fenton within the country of England included one Adam de Fenton, who was recorded as residing in the county of Derbyshire in the year of 1230, and one William Fenton who was mentioned as living in the county of Lincoln in the year of 1332. Those who bear the surname of Fenton within the country of England can be found in the areas of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, and the areas in and around the city of London in high concentrations.
United States of America:
During the 1600’s, many European citizens migrate to the United States of America, which at that time was known as the New World, or the Colonies. Among the first to arrive to the New World was one James Fenton, who arrived in the state of Virginia in the year of 1623 and purchased land in this area. Shortly after, Henry Fenton moved to Virginia in 1638.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Fenton: United States 19,314; England 9,959; Australia 4,065; Canada 3,530; Mexico 1,413; South Africa 1,406; Ireland 1,245; New Zealand 1,027; Scotland 958; Jamaica 732
Reuben Eaton Fenton (1819-1885) who served as the 22nd Governor of the state of New York from the year 1865 to the year 1868, and who also served as a United States Senator from the year of 1869 to the year of 1875, and whom Fenton, New York was named after, was also a merchant and politician from America
Carroll Lane Fenton (1900-1969) who was a historian of science, a neoinchologist, a geologist, and a paleontologist from America
Mildred Adams Fenton (1899-1995) who was a paleontologist and geologist from America
Elizabeth Fenton, who served as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the state of Connecticut in the year 2000, and who was a Democratic politician from America
Daniel G. Fenton, who served as a Member of the Wisconsin State Senate in the 3rd District in the year of 1848, and who was a Democratic politician from America
Charles W. Fenton, who was a U.S. Consul in Southampton in the year 1849 to the year 1850, and who was a politician from America
Charles B. Fenton, who served as a Member of the Michigan State House of Representatives from the Mackinac District in the years 1867 to 1868, and in 1871 to 1872, and who was a politician from America
Fenton Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Fenton blazon are the cross and fleur-de-lis. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross . Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. In its basic form, the cross is created from two broad bands of colour at right angles covering the whole extent of the shield. It has been subject to all manner of embellishment, and the interested reader is referred to the references, especially Parker’s Heraldic dictionary for many examples of these. Suffice it to say that any armiger would be proud to have such an important device as part of their arms.
The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. . The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul” and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms