Simon FENN of Offton 
- Born: Abt 1712
- Baptised: 28 Feb 1714/15, Offton SFK
- Marriage (1): Mary FOLGER (FOULGER) of Battisford  on 15 Mar 1740/41 in Battisford (Barking)
- Marriage (2): Ann GARROLD  on 20 Nov 1778 in Baylham, SFK
- Buried: 2 Jan 1780, Baylham, SFK
Another name for Simon was Simon FYNN.
Proving the antecedents of Simon Fenn/Fynn snr is now a focus, there appears on information searched to date that two family's had a Simon Fenn at the time in question, that is the first quarter of the 18thC. Simon may be Simon Fenn 
Presently (2014) the focus is on proving/disproving the Fenn family of Kenton into the line.
Simon's surname and that of his family were spelt Fynn in the Offton Registers, but all following records of Simon's sons, Simon and Robert found in the Parish Registers and Village records of Coddenham and Hemingstone where they settled are spelt Fenn. Whether this occured because of phonetics or spelling remains unclear.
Accordingly it appears that the reason why Simon's ancestors were proving difficult to trace was that the researcher was looking for Fenn, research will now continue (2005) on the spelling Fynn and the remaining, presently untraced, family of Simon Snr.
Simon Fynn son of Robert & Mary baptised February 28.
SRO FB16/D1/1 Offton Original Parish Register 1561 - 1719
Simon Fynn son of Abraham & Alice baptised October 4.
Mike Fenn has this Simon Fynn born 1724 Baylham unmarried.
At Simon's second marriage in 1778 he is reported as aged 66 making for a birth year of abt 1712
Simon Fenn was a witness at the following marriages in Baylham.
1778 9 June Miles Hollery and Ann Fenning
1779 8 August James Dorking and Elizabeth Garnham
1779 10 August Thomas Ward widower of Battiford and Bridget Steward.
1779 31 October John Lambert and Mary Read
1779 4 November John Garrard and Elizabeth Copping.
Marriage Licence Bond: Simon Fenn and Mary Folger 15 Mar 1740/1741
Singleman of Offton and singlewoman of Battisford. To be married at Barking.
Ipswich Marriage Licences.
15 Mar 1940/41 Simon Fenn of Offten single and Mary Fouger of Battisford single.
Simon Fynn & Mary Folger were married by licence (sighted). A Relative? John Fenn was present.
A2A Ipswich RO Loraine Archive HA61/436/12210 Jul 1609
8/2000 searched Often, Partridge Transcript, one birth ;30 May 1709 Sarah Fenn da of Thos & Eliz of the Parish. ? sister of Simon? No Fenn deaths or marriages.
A relative John Fenn is recorded at the marriage in 1740 in Battisford, IGI. unchecked.
Boyd's Marriages shows Simon & Mary's marriage recorded also in Barking & Ipswich?.
1780 Jan 2 Simon Fenn was buried
SRO FB14/D1/2 Baylham Original Parish Register 1681 - 1812
Burial month 1
Church descriptionST PETER
National Burial Index for England & Wales
SURNAMES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
A CONCISE ETYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY
BY HENRY HARRISON 1912
FENN (Eng.) Dweller at a FEN [O.E. fenn =
Thomas atte Fenne.-Cal. Inq. P.M.
FYNN = Finn, q.v.
FINN (Teut.) the O.Teut. Fin, Finn : the national name [Fin-land supp. Fen-land, the Finns calling themselves Suoma-laiset, 'people of the fens' (Finnish suoma, a fen or marsh) In the genealogy of the sons of Woden
(A.-Sax. Chron., A.D. 855) Finn is the great-great-grandfather of Woden. In the Snorra Edda Finn-r is VntSinn's (Odin's) grandfather. Fin(p, a Frisian prince, is mentioned in Beowulf'.
Also in The Scop's Tale, 11. 55-6 Fin Folcwalding [weold] Fresna cynne. . . . .
(Fin, Folcwald's Son, [ruled] the Frisians' kin. . . . .)
As well as in the fragment on The Fight at Finnesburg, 11. 71-3
Swurd-leOma stod, Swylce cal Finns buruh Fyren waere. . . . . (Sword-gleam stood, As if all Finn's stronghold on fire were. . . . .)
(Scand.-Celt.) WHITE, FAIR (the ancient Scandinavians app. also borrowed
the Celt, name Fionii)
(Celt.) WHITE, FAIR (Irish. and Gael. Fionn-fionn, white, lair, pale, clear)
(A.-Fr.-Lat.) FINE, ELEGANT (Fr. fin, L.Lat. fin-us, fine ; Lat. finire, to finish)
Email correspondance with Rachael Reason Sept 04 over the transmutation of the surname Fynn into Fenn.
That is Simon Fynn bap 16 Jan 1741/2 took up the lease of Valley Farm Coddenham 1791 as Simon Fenn retaining that spelling to the end of his life in 1806. His family continued as Fenn, as did his brother Robert's.
Just a quick response to say how pleased I am to hear from you. I don't believe too much emphasis should be placed on the spelling of the surname as my view is this was not a "spelling mistake" nor however an intentional change of surname. Parish clerks were by no means better educated than they are today. "spelling" was not standarised since compulsory education came into effect only in the latter part of the 1800s in England and Wales and then not everyone attended school! The "spelling" of surnames in particular was a rather hit and miss affair and people who could write and then at best just their own names and nothing more often wrote phonetically and parish clerks were no different. It is through writing phonetically variants of the same surname arose.
You asked for an example of Fynn changing to Fenn. All my material is in files and so takes a little time to put into some order. . . . .however I have found an example which demonstrates this reasonably well by showing the two variants of the same surname in one document together with an obvious error by the parish clerk for good measure!
Firstly there was a mix up of the surnames of Thomas Fynne who married Anne Death. People would be drawn from the surrounding community and asked to act as witnesses for such events and it appears Thomas Death was one such person and had witnessed several other marriages in the parish.
I believe this is Simon the younger's sister Anne. Anne's marriage took place at Baylham. . . . .
Thomas Fenn single man and Anne Death single woman of this parish were married in this church by licence 27 December 1773. He signed as Thomas Death and she made a mark - her name is recorded as Anne Fynne.
Interestingly the witnesses to Anne's marriage were Simon Fenn and John Banyard. I am not sure whether this is Simon the elder or his son Simon the younger. As I concentrated on my direct ancestral line everything else which was thrown up in the process was a bonus and I do not have a date of death for Simon the elder.
However I am now retracing my family tree to flesh out each generation. I have, the other day requested a piece of research of both Thomas and Simon's siblings to see what happened to each of them and in particular I have asked for a date of death and/or burial for Simon the elder. I feel if Simon the elder were still alive it would be Anne's father and not her brother who witnessed her marriage. I should be delighted to send you the details when I receive them.
The second witness was a John Banyard. A tradition which appears in other branches of mine and Derek's families the adding on of a spouse's maiden name. Family groups who either worked or lived closely together usually had a close marital connection possibly to ensure continuity of friendship loyality and financial benefit.
It may be that John Banyard is connected in some way to the
Banyard Coates' sons who later marry Simon the younger's daughters. It was not just the aristocracy who created dynasties! If this is correct then it's possible a female relative of John Banyard's may have married someone whose surname was Coates and retained her maiden name of Banyard.
According to Anne's baptism date of 2 January 1757 in Baylham she would have been around 16 years of age when she married Thomas Death. Consent for girls at this time was around 12 and so marriage at 16 was not impossible.
We are in the process of updating our computer and hope to install an all in one photocopier/printer and scanner. It should be possible for me to scan some documents to you if you wish?
Hope to hear from you soon.
From: Edward Fenn
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2004 6:55 AM
Subject: The Fynn/Fenn
Thank you for your details on the Fynn family which I had not realised was so extensive.
This presents me with the problem of deciding if Simon Fynn and Mary Folger are indeed the parents of my Simon Fenn died Coddenham 11 Nov 1806
I have taken it as a reasonable view because Simons age at death was 65 which fits with the bap 16 Jan 1741/2 and the death entry in the Coddenham Register says "Simon son of Simon and Mary late Fulger. . . . ."
However Simon had a brother Robert the executor of his Will born about 1750 when calculated from his age at death I had not found his birth/baptism details but he appears to be the Robert born of Simon & Mary bap 27 Jan 1750/1 at Baylham?
You mention Thomas the miller in Coddenham I am most interested he was a cousin as he is clearly reported as using the name Fenn
Do you have any evidence of any others in the family assuming the name Fenn instead of Fynn, was Fynn a way of writing Fenn at the time not just a wrong spelling.
If the Fynns turned in some cases into Fenns a new chapter opens for me as I had viewed the entry of Simons bap in 1741/2 as a mis-spelling
I await you reply with fascination
Every best wish
Early Norfolk occurrences or the surname Fenn are largely concentrated in the district around the Broads in east Norfolk, with a smaller number in the fens around the Wash in the west.
In the Norfolk subsidy for 1329-39, there are 28 persons called Fen (including atte fen, etc) and of these, 21 are in the Broads area, especially around Wroxham, three are in the west Norfolk Fenland and the remaining four are widely dispersed in other parts of the county. Other early occurrences of the name Fen, and of surnames formed from compounds (Overfen, de Westfen, de Blackfen, de Fenrowe, ate Fenhous, etc) show a similar pattern of distribution.
The name FENN was also common in Suffolk. Twenty-five persons of the name occur in the Suffolk 1327 subsidy rolls, and are rather widely distributed. Nine are in the extreme north-east of the county, where there are marshes along the rivers Yare and Waveney, 12 are dispersed in central Suffolk, and three others are in the coastal areas of the south east.
The name is absent in this subsidy from the Fens in the extreme north west of the country, the Breckland area in north-west Suffolk, and from the south west of the county.
If the distribution of the name Fenn in 1327 is compared with the distribution of the same surname in the Suffolk returns for the subsidy granted in 1523, it can be seen that by the 16th century the situation had largely changed, and that by the later date the name was widely distributed over most of Suffolk, though still noticeably absent from the north-west of the county.
In certain early 16th Century sources for Norfolk, the surname was fairly widespread in the east of the county, though it was still more common in the Broads district than anywhere else; in the Fenlands
Ref: Whisley/Ayres family Tree.
Lease and release (at Alston's request) by William Lloyd, gent. of Penpedwast, Pembrokeshire and Phillip Thomas, gent. of More Critchel, Dorset to Samuel Alston  gent. of CODDENHAM, Suffolk of Sicklemore House and Farm (occupied by John Gosse) Tye Farm (occupied by Edmund Garrard) and Bullen Farm (occupied by Daniel Somers) - ref. Ipswich R.O. HA61/436/587 - date: 23 & 24 Dec 1717.
1. Coddenham and surrounding Villages, 1885 1900.
Courtesy National Library of Scotland.
Simon married Mary FOLGER (FOULGER) of Battisford  [MRIN: 1559], daughter of Robert FOLGER (FOULGER)  and Unknown, on 15 Mar 1740/41 in Battisford (Barking). (Mary FOLGER (FOULGER) of Battisford  was born about 1720 in Baylham, SFK and died before 20 Nov 1778.)
Simon next married Ann GARROLD  [MRIN: 2794] on 20 Nov 1778 in Baylham, SFK. (Ann GARROLD  was born about 1762 in Baylham, SFK and was buried on 29 Jul 1791 in Swilland SFK.)
Witness's to this marriage William and Elizabeth Farthing