Meaning and Origin of: Fenwick

Family name origins & meanings

  • 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’ +wīc ‘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’.
  • The name was brought over from England by several forebears, including George Fenwick (1603–56/7), a colonist from Brinkburn, Northumberland. He was one of the group of lords and gentlemen to whom the earl of Warwick, president of the Council for New England, granted forty leagues of territory west of the Narragansett River. George took up residence with his family at Saybrook, CT, in 1639.