First steps on the continent

Early 18th century William Fearn landed in the Southern Netherlands (nowadays Belgium). As a Scottish soldier he came to the continent with his regiment command by of Lt. General Halkett. He was stationed in Yper, Belgium to defend the Netherlands against Catholicism.

He married in 1742 with Mary Francis at Namur (Belgium).


Unfortunately this marriage did not last long because both William and Mary died before 1751. Their childeren, Judith, Charles and William,  were sent to the Netherlands to "save them from the catholic church".They stayed at an orphanage in 's-Gravenhage (The Hague).

(Below you fill find the list of orphans sent to The Hague).


Judith died at an early age, Charles ran away from the orphanage and William stayed. He is our Ancestor.


The surname Furnée developed from a phonetical spelling(Furnes) of Fearn in the Southern Netherlands. Later it was Frenchified into Furnée.


It may have happened that the surname of Charles developed in a different way, like Furnes, Furness.

In World War I Yper was heavily bombed and all archives were lost. So we will never be able to track down the exact history of William Fearn.