Our ancestors came from the village of Fincham in Norfolk, England. The name is Anglo-Saxon, and probably means “the home with the finches” (though you may find another explanation if you explore the site).

If your name is Finchum or Flinchum or Finchem, these are different spellings of the same name, and you are just as welcome. 

If you live in Fincham, or have an interest in the village and its history, you are welcome too.

FINCHAM VILLAGE

North West Norfolk

Fincham is situated in the North West part of Norfolk, on the edge of the flat agricultural Fenlands. It is about 10 miles south of King’s Lynn, which is an interesting harbour town on the estuary of the Great Ouse, with many well-preserved historical buildings. Just to the west is Downham Market, an attractive market town.

Fincham is a small village, which is described in this guide book article. The main buildings of interest are

  • The Church of St. Martin, a splendid building in Perpendicular style.
  • Fincham Hall, the Tudor manor house, standing on the site of earlier halls, which was the home of the Fincham family until 1572.
  • Talbot Hall, one of the earliest manors of the village.
  • Playters Hall, on the site of the mediaeval manor of New Hall.

Fincham used to have several pubs, but only one remains, The Swan.

Some historical photographs of Fincham are available from Fenprint Photographic Reproductions.

There are no Finchams living in the village these days, but Fincham visitors receive a friendly welcome.

HISTORY

lecture notes taken by Joe Underhill

Here are some lecture notes taken by Joe Underhill, a local resident. Unfortunately we do not know the name of the lecturer, and apologise that he is not gaining the credit he deserves.

Attached to these notes is also a brief account of the histories of the various manors which once made up the village of Fincham 

See also the notes on Blyth’s book.

BLYTH'S BOOK

Historical Notices & Records

Historical Notices & Records of the Village & Parish of Fincham in the County of Norfolk” by William Blyth (Rector of Fincham), published by Thew &Son, Kings Lynn, in 1863.

This book is very rare. There are a few public libraries in Britain who have a copy, including Leicester University, but none that will lend it out. You may be able to purchase copy from an antiquarian bookseller.

You will enjoy reading the book very much. It is packed with information about the village and its history, and about the Fincham family, with extensive genealogies. The book is interesting for the light it sheds on the interests and attitudes of a Victorian clergyman, as well as for the prior history it contains.

See also the page about Blyth’s Box, recently discovered in the church, containing his original proof of the book, and other interesting historical material.

Much of this site has been informed and illustrated by the book.

FINCHAM FAMILY

The Finchams of Fincham

William Blyth in his book gives us the results of his extensive researches into the story of the Fincham family. He was able to study many old deeds, wills and the like, which had once belonged to the family, and were now with Sir Thomas Hare, Lord of Clackclose Hundred (this is an ancient title, a hundred being a Saxon administrative area intermediate between parish and county). Blyth traces several branches of the family in great detail, presenting extensive genealogies. The first part of this page is a summary of his conclusions.

FINCHAM ARMS

Arbore latet opaca (Hidden by a shady tree)

Burkes The General Armory gives the following arms as belonging to FINCHAM of the counties of Cambridge and Norfolk.

These Arms are loosely referred to as the family Arms, but in English law the arms as originally granted pass only to the eldest son, and the direct line of descent appears to have terminated in the sixteenth century. Consequently no-one at present has a right to bear these Arms.

We have no information about the granting of these Arms. The earliest mention in Blyth concerns the seal of Simon (or Symeon) de Fyncham (see below), which incorporates the Arms. Symeon, who died in 1458, was a generous benefactor of St. Martin’s Church, and the Arms appear on the buttresses of the tower, as well as in various places in the interior.

FAMOUS FINCHAMS

Famous Finchams thoughout history

Burkes The General Armory gives the following arms as belonging to FINCHAM of the counties of Cambridge and Norfolk.

These Arms are loosely referred to as the family Arms, but in English law the arms as originally granted pass only to the eldest son, and the direct line of descent appears to have terminated in the sixteenth century. Consequently no-one at present has a right to bear these Arms.

We have no information about the granting of these Arms. The earliest mention in Blyth concerns the seal of Simon (or Symeon) de Fyncham (see below), which incorporates the Arms. Symeon, who died in 1458, was a generous benefactor of St. Martin’s Church, and the Arms appear on the buttresses of the tower, as well as in various places in the interior.