Origin of the Finnie name in Scotland?

Started by Private User on Sunday, December 27, 2009


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Private User
12/27/2009 at 1:08 AM

Hi All,

I've been reading about the name Finnie in a few old books on the web, and it would appear as though the original name was "Fin" or "Phin". There is also a connection with the name "Fynwyk", pronounced "Fennick" or "Finnick". Has anybody else made this connection? From the following information, it would seem that by the late 18th Century, the name had been bastardised to "Finnie".

It strikes me that if the coat of arms was registered by James Phine in the late 17th Century, then perhaps our William Finnie's father's name might well have been "Phine", rather than "Finnie"? After all, this was less than half a century before the birth of William.

I might be opening a can of worms here, folks, but I'm having very little luck in finding William's parents under the name Finnie, so perhaps it's worth a tad more research.

Cheers, Lynne.

Fin of yt ilk: This coat was registered by James Phine of Whytehill, 1672-78; William Finnie of Hillbrae, co. Aberdeen, in 1765 had a grant of - gules, a crane without a head argent, and in 1692 a grant to Robert Fennison, merchant in Ecdinburgh, is founded on the same; the blazon is - gules, a fess betwween three besants in chief and a crane in base. Soon after the Reformation several persons of the name of Fin or Phin became possessed of parts of the lands of the Abby of Dunfermline; Mr Johhn of Whitehill, co. Fife, 1624; Mr George, last of Whitehill, minister of St Laurence, died in 1689, leaving a daughter and heir, henrietta.

In 1296 William Fin of Lanarkshire swore fealty to Edward I.

Fynwyk or Fynweck. This is given by Pont for Finnie, with the motto, "Ex igne resurgit virtus".
fenwick Name Meaning and History
Northern English and Scottish: habitational name from either of two places in Northumberland or from one in West Yorkshire, all of which are so named from Old English fenn ‘marsh’, ‘fen’ + wic ‘outlying dairy farm’. There is also a place in Ayrshire, Scotland, which has the same name and origin. This last is the source of at least some early examples of the surname: Nicholaus Fynwyk was provost of Ayr in 1313, and Reginald de Fynwyk or Fynvyk appears as bailie and alderman of the same burgh in 1387 and 1401. The name is usually pronounced ‘Fennick’.

In England the name was baptismal 'the son of Phin' meaning the fine, exquisite, the delicate and refined. The name was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as PHIN in counties Essex and Suffolk. In 1066 Duke William of Normandy conquered England. He was crowned King, and most of the lands of the English nobility were soon granted to his followers. Domesday Book was compiled 20 years later. The Saxon Chronicle records that in 1085 'at Gloucester at midwinter, the King had deep speech with his counsellors, and sent men all over England to each shire to find out, what or how much each landowner held in land and livestock, and what it was worth. The returns were brought to him'. William was thorough. One of his Counsellors reports that he also sent a second set of Commissioners 'to shires they did not know and where they were themselves unknown, to check their predecessors' survey, and report culprits to the King'. The information was collected at Winchester, corrected, abridged, and copied by one single writer into a single volume. Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were copied, by several writers into a second volume. The whole undertaking was completed at speed, in less than 12 months. Other records of the name mention Robert le Fyne, documented during the reign of Edward III. (1327-1377) in County Somerset. Thomas Fyn was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.

This name has two possible origins, the first being a baptisimal name 'the son of Phin'. In the Domesday Book (C.1086) the name Phin is recorded in Essex and Suffolk. The initial 'F' and 'P' are interchangeable and the form Finey may simply be the diminutive of the name. In the modern idiom the name Finey has three other spelling variations - Finn, Finney and Finnie and it is possible that the name was used as a nickname for a refined person or one with delicate tastes - from the Olde French 'fin' meaning fine. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Fyne. which was dated 1327 - Somerset (from Kirby's Quest). during the reign of King Edward 111 nickname The Father of the Navy 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

12/27/2009 at 1:05 PM

Hi Lynne,
well what can i say there was lots to read but very informative & definatly something to think about

Private User
12/27/2009 at 1:40 PM

Worth a look girl. I'll see what I can come up with.

xxxxxxxxxx Barry

Private User
12/27/2009 at 1:42 PM

ps: Not sure that I like the connection to Edward 1. He was not very nice to the Scottish people.

xxxxxxxxxx Barry

Private User
12/27/2009 at 4:52 PM

I know, darling, but sadly when we get Ann Boyd in we will have a very strong blood connection. Doesn't worry me, though....my loyalties are firmly on the side of the Scots too!! :)) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Private User
12/27/2009 at 4:55 PM

Hi Deb,

Deb, there's quite a bit out there about this. I downloaded a heap of books from www.archive.org last night, including books on the origins of Scottish surnames. They don't just give the origin of the name, but heaps of biographical and historical information. One guy wrote in the 1700s, but I haven't read it yet. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

12/27/2009 at 5:11 PM

hi lynne,
i shall have a look i was wondering about the provost thing mself when i saw the word seeiming one of the archibalds was one, still need to track down that painting that was done of him to

Private User
12/27/2009 at 6:15 PM

Hi Deb,

Deb, yes......I think that there's a connection there. But maybe the name thing will help us find William's parents. I am now going to work forward from the Phine/Fynwyk people and see if I can get to him that way. Also, I'm going to take this approach re: Ann.....go back further than her by a few generations and work forward....it sometimes works!! As she was born in Ardrossan I am tipping that she was a descendant or rellie of Sir Thomas Boyd of Portincross? Anyway, I have downloaded a heap of stuff about their genealogy also. :))) I'm also wondering if our William's parents might have been from Largs?

Private User
12/27/2009 at 6:41 PM

Downloading the following book........what a mouthful the title is!! I'm also downloading all the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland....there may well be a few clues in these. Will keep you posted!! :))

Calendars of the ancient charters, and of the Welch and Scotish rolls, now remaining in the Tower of London ... also calendars of all the treaties of peace entered into by the kings of England with those of Scotland; and of sundry letters and public instruments relating to that kingdom, now in the Chapter-house at Westminster. Together with catalogues of the records brought to Berwick from the Royal treasury at Edinburgh: of such as were transmitted to the Exchequer at Westminster, and of those which were removed to different parts of Scotland by order of King Edward I. The proceedings relating to the carrying back the records of Scotland into that kingdom; and the transactions of the Parliament there from the 15th of May 1639, to the 8th of March 1650. To which are added memoranda concerning the affairs of Ireland, extracted from the Tower records. With four copper plates, exhibiting all the various hands in which the several charters have been written, from the reign of King William the Conqueror to that of Queen Elizabeth. To the whole is prefixed an introduction, giving some account of the state of the public records from the conquest to the present time - Ayloffe, Joseph, Sir, bart., 1709-1781, [from old catalog] ed

12/27/2009 at 7:20 PM

HI Lynne,
good idea to work forward hopeully it helps hows about we just nick of over to scotland & seehow we go, id love a break from this lot as long as i can go to stoke on trent while im there
where does the largs bit fit in. you are going to be extremely busy reading, Loz loves william the conquerer, going to have to see what i can help to look up stuff, been busy adding more of nige's family to m tree

Private User
12/27/2009 at 8:15 PM

Deb, yes please!! :))) Oh, and William married Mary Wilson in Largs. :))

12/30/2009 at 5:50 PM

Hi Lyynne,
hows it going with your search

Private User
12/30/2009 at 7:48 PM

Hi Deb,

Deb, it's going well.........I downloaded two books yesterday, relating to the Guthries et al (I'm adding Finnies, Guthries and Mortons to the tree...just going one branch of the Finnie family at a time). In one of these, was an interesting bit about a William Finnie who was married to an Ann Sutor. I'm pretty sure that he will fit into our tree somewhere, as a rellie of our Wm's.....fingers crossed!! :)) But there was a whole heap of them buried in a family tomb, so it's going to be really interesting to work on this. Have a brilliant NY, Deb........and happy hunting!! :)) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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