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About the study
History of the name
There are many historical references to the name including:
- 1315 John Fernyhough of Fernyhough, a small estate in Staffordshire.
- 1327 and 1332 Adam de Fernihaugh, assessed for tax at Endon (Subsidy Roll).
- 1349 William son of Adam del Fernyhalgh of Cheteldon (Assizes).
- 1621 The will of William Fernihough of Fernihough was proved. He bequeathed Fernyhough to his daughter Ellen, who was married in 1603 to John Unwin of Clough House. They had no children. The will was contested in Chancery as the property had been entailed in the male line. Ellen gave up her rights and the property was still with the Fernyhough family until at least 1705.
- 1621 and 1629 John Fernyhough elected mayor of Newcastle under Lyme.
- 1742 Thomas Fernyhough died having been town cryer at Leek for many years.
- 1844 Thomas Fernyhough died, having been Governor of the Military Knights of Windsor. In 1828 he wrote a book about the military exploits of the four Fernyhough brothers of Staffordshire. He was a keen genealogist and worked for many Staffordshire families, using his grace and favour residence in Windsor Castle as a convenient locality for researching in national archives. He assisted William Salt in his famous historical collection, which later became the nucleus for the William Salt Library in Stafford.
- 1938 Eric Fernihough was killed in Hungary while attempting to improve on his own world speed records for motorcycle and motorcycle with sidecar.
- 1993 Ernest Fernyhough died having been personal private secretary to Harold Wilson 1967-7.
- Living - Bryan Fernyhough, composer and professor of music.
- Living - Rowland Fernyhough, show jumper and trainer.
Distribution of the name
As many as possible of all the variants and misspellings have been recorded from the General Register Office for England and Wales, including military and overseas records, since 1837. This data, also including Ferney, can be found on the Guild Web Site
Probate entries have been recorded from the dioceses of Lichfield and Chester and from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury since records began until 1858, when the probate records for England and Wales were centralised. From 1858 to 1950 the database now includes Ferney.
There is an ever growing collection of records from various sources including censuses from 1841 to 1901 and parish registers. Many trees have been developed from submissions by and in cooperation with other researchers.