Farrar Farrer Farr Farrow distinctions and connections


William Thomas Farrar, III :
This discussion centers, regrettably, chauvinistically around the descendants of a group of Farrars which I will call the Ewood Hall Farrars, whose haplogroup has been identifed as R1a1a1b2*, SNP Z93+.  This particular haplogroup and SNP is so rare in the British Isles, not to mention western Europe that , at this point, I feel it safe to state that all who share this DNA share a common ancestor who arrived in England at least during the Norman Conquest, if not before., but all are members of the same family who should be able to trace their DNA back to a rather recent common ancestor.

If one researches the internet, one encounters sites like houseofnames that claims that Farrow is a hypercorrected form of Farrar, and it appears that any name which contains an F and two R's are considered to be variations of Farrar (or vice versa)

While it is true, that in some instances, the name Farrar mutated into Farrow, perhaps because of the improvident death of a father, before the younger children could be tutored and thus a line fell into illiteracy, or because some government clerk, or census enumerator felt it is a show of ignorance on his part as to inquire as to the spelling of the family name, and because spellings, not just of names, but of common words, were not standardized in the English language until the mid 19th Century, much confusion has occurred.

To the best of my knowledge, and after considerable (but not exhaustive) research. The surname Farrar is often (not necessarily) interchangeable with Farrer.

The Illustrations in the various "Visitations" by the King's Herald, show coats of arms (armorial bearings) that are remarkable similar, that is three horshoes on a bend sinister, with a horseshoe on the crest, sometimes on top of the helm, sometimes stand alone. This was true for Farrer and Farrar, be the Visitation in London or Hertfordshire or Surrey or Berkshire.  The King, would charge his Herald to visit the various counties or shires and ascertain the legitimacy of Heraldry being sported by various houses, in the visit he would also enumerate descendants back at least three generations or more.

Persons interested should google Visitation of Surrey, Visitation of Hertford, Visitation of London, Berkshire, Gloucester, Warwickshire, etc. Not all counties housed Farrars or Farrers. Don't bother with York, the Visitation were never published in book form, only in folio format, and not available on the internet.

The surname Farrar, on the other hand, is often held to be a derivative of farrier, an English occupational name for a black smith, but extant evidence does not support that supposition.

Another unproven assetion is that Farrar is a derivative of Ferrers and as such we are descended from Henry de Ferrers, Master of Horse for William the Conqueror and a Domesday Commissioner, and who, along with Wm Peverel, Harried the North, to put down the rebellion of the Saxon kings Aedwin and Morcar, who had initially pledged fealty to William, but revoked the pledge when they discovered the Domesday survey and it's taxation purpose.

Here is what I have learned to date: That prior to the poll tax of 1377 (which ran until 1391) there were no hereditary surnames in England.  A man was known by the name of his father, e.g. son of John, Son of William, son of David, etc (Davidson, or Davis in Wales, Williamson or Williams, also FitzWilliam, FitzDavid, where Fitz is a contraction of the French "fils de" as in fils de William. Thus a man could be named FitzWilliam whilst his father might be FitzJohn. Also people were referred to by their occupation, thus Bob the Builder, or William Bigod, or Harry the Cooper (barrel maker) or Dave the Walker or John the Fuller (the latter two were occupations in the production of wool). Or a physical characteristic, Strong men became Strong or Armstrong, white hair became Whitehead, Wise, Smart,. Then a person lacking anything significant or in a situation where there were too many of a designation could be referred to by his physical origin or location, especially if he had relocated, thus surnames Spring, River, Forest, Hill, Warren, Dale (Dale is Saxon for Valley)

All that changed with the poll tax of 1377. The crown needed better tools, for taxation purposes, to keep track of their citizens. Thus the son of John (Johnson or John) passed his appelation onto all of his offspring and they theirs.

Given that the first recorded surname in the line of the Farrars who claim descent from a Henry of Ewood Hall, in Midgley/Mytholmroyd, West Riding Yorkshire, who left a will in 1549 in which he refers to himself as Henry Ferror.

We find the first mention of a Ferror in the household of a Johannes Helistones, fferror and uxor (translated: Ferror and wife), 15th and 16th century English had the Capital F as ff as in fferror or fferrar.

Said fferror&uxor were residing in Halifax Parish, (West Riding) Yorkshire, in Morley Wapentake (Wapentake was a subdivision of a county, equivalent to the "hundreds" in the south of England), under the administration of Elland (Eland)

My next encounter with the name is in Norwich, Norfolk coun http://books.google.com/books?id=TQIWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq=fferror+norwich&source=bl&ots=QhrYQeVaYI&sig=USqEpOo-QVLsdmmgUyxjuwqzkkw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PnRIUsvSHIjdrAH7m4FQ&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=fferror%20norwich&f=false "The Ferrors or Ferrours of Gressenhall. Edmund Ferrour was lord of the manor of Harford in that parish in 30 Henry VIII (1538). He had four sons, Thomas, John, Richard and Robert. There was lving in Elmham in 1523, Anew Farror or Ferror, who by his will dated 16th December directed "that Margaret my wiff shall have all of the Thrym belynge to and all the fruite that come y'  of"

Now it is known that the Henry Ferror who left a will proved in 1549, was of Ewood Hall in West Riding Yorkshire, and that said hall was built by his grandfather Henry in 1471, first year of the restoration of Edward IV to the throne of England, and 10th of his reign.

To my knowledge there is no evidence of a Farrar (documented or DNA wise) in the county of Norfolk, there are however Farrows from Norfolk, in  specific a John Farrow who migrated to Massachussetts in the 17th Century (John Farrow b 1608 in Hingham, Norfolk England and died 1687 in Hingham, Mass

English migration to America was mainly along the following lines. From the North and east of England to Massachussetts, from the South and West of England (including London) to Virginia, migration accelerated after the English Civil war with Parliamentarians (Roundheads) fleeing to Mass and Royalists (Cavaliers) to Virginia.

There were also some Farrow/Farrars who migrated to New Jersey and Philadelphia in the 18th Century.

There is only one known Farr who is a DNA cousin of the descendants of Henry of Ewood and he is from Surrey England, born about 10 miles from a hunting lodge, owned by the Ewood Farrars until sold in 1634 to Howard Vyne. Other than that all other Farr's belong to the haplogroup I, E1b1 or R1b1.

In the New World, and apparently in England, at times the surname became spelled phonetically, and variations did occur. It is documented that in some instances, and due to illiteracy or other circumstances, the name was spelled, at least for a time, Farrow, and in others it was mutated into Farrow, perhaps even other phonetic variations.

On the other hand it is also a proveable fact that some Farrows eventually spelled, or had their name spelled for them, as Farrar, but these folk belong to other haplogroups like the Viking haplogroup of I, or even aboriginal Brit (R1b1...)

It appears that the preponderance of Farrows are either of I or R1b1.. ,

The American spelling of Farrar, seems to have originated with the son of William of Va who arrived in 1618 on the Neptune. In the Jamestown Muster his name is spelled fferrar, his fathers will and marriage announcement in the London papers has it spelled Ferrar as well.

Wills of Yorkshire mention another Henry and his son Brian but there names are spelled Fairher and Fareher. This link as well as the embedded links are very instructive  http://www.pandp.eu.com/halifax.htm

Until the advent of DNA and it's use in genealogy, it was possible for anyone to, and they often did, conflate into one family anyone named Ferrer, Ferrers, Farr, Farrar, Farrow and Ferrar. I do not see mention of Fairher or Fareher anymore however their spelling gives a clue as to the original pronunciation of the name. and frankly Fairher seems to be the closest to the original.

I have it on good authority, that the pronunciation varies in England from north to south and by class.  here is a reply from an English cousin as to the pronunciation of the name:

"apart from obvious regional accents I would argue there are two main pronunciations here in the UK; the differences are probably slightly class based and whether you view the name as aristocratic/french in origin or common/english

they two variations would be:

faar-raarh or faar-reer with emphasis on the vowels

 fa-rerr or fa-rarr with short guttural stops and emphasis on the er or ar at the end

this sort of distinction between vowel pronunciation is very common between the classes and many other words; the famous one is pronunciation of “bath”; upper class would pronounce baar- th, lower class ba-th with a hard a.

In my family  (Virginia Farrars, meaning our ancestor was William of Virginia, as opposed to English Farrars or Massachusetts Farrars whose ancestors were Jacob, John or Thomas, the name was pronounced akin to Fairuh, even Fire, in the north, iin commerce and in the military it is pronounced Far Rar with the Rar sounding like Far.

I answer to anything that is recognizable.

I will note that in the project there are two members who are an exact DNA match, one spells the name Farrer and the other Farrar both live in England, and the Farrer has documented ancestry back to Henry of Ewood.

William Thomas Farrar, III :
I wish to add to the discusion, the DNA of the Ewood Farrars. Haplogroup R1a1a2b2, SNP Z93+ is Eurasian.  Before those in the haplogroup tested for this SNP it was unknown in the British Isles and Western Europe, but it is common in Eastern Europe (Hungary, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine). We are also SNP Z94- and that is important because Z94 is a downstream SNP of Z93 and if we were positive for both then there is a likelihood that we would be of Ashkenazic ancestry.

It is quite possible, that SNP Z93+, Z94- is of Sarmatian/Sycthian origin.

If that is the case then the following possibilities arise for the existence of Farrars in England.

1st. We are descended from a Iazyge, a Sarmatian tribe that provided Rome with 8,500 mounted auxillaries, 5,500 of which were stationed at Eborucum (York) and tended Hadrians Wall, many of them, probably most, retired in Britain and lived and died at the Veterans community,atBremetennacum Veteranorum (outside modern Ribchester) which is only 17 crow miles from Ewood Hall.

2. We are descended from an Alani (another Sarmatian Tribe) which was granted permission during the reign of the praetor Aetius (who defeated Attila the Hun at the battle of the Catalaunian Fields (Chalon), to raid and settle in Armorica, which is modern day Brittany, and there were quite a few Sarmatian settlements in and around what we call Normandy today.

If that is the case then Henry de Ferrers could very well be our progenitor.

3rd Possibility is that we are descended from a Magyar in the Hungarian Entourage of Margaret Aetheling, dtr of Edward the Exile, who had returned to Britain with her brother on invitation of Edward the Confessor, but who lost his claim to the crown.
They settled in at York, but when Henry de Ferrers and Wm Peverel Harried the North http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrying_of_the_North. She and her brother fled to Scotland and the court of the Scottish King, where she married Malcolm III (of MacBeth fame) and is known as St Margaret  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Margaret_of_Scotland. The descendants of
William of Virginia also are descended from her via the mother of William, Cecily Kelke, and also descend from Henry de Ferrers, again via Cecily Kelke, there is no information at all on the family prior to the purchase of land and building of Ewood Hall in 1471.

However for a peasant, and there were only peasants and nobles then, to acquire such wealth that they could purchase land and build a manoral hall indicates that the family was of some substance and standing in a society that was rigidly codfied and segregated along lines of class.

There were even sumptuary laws that forbid the common person from wearing attire that was worn by the upper class, and the punishment for violation was death.

There exists, amongst some quarters, that Farrar DNA is Viking, and I too held that belief until I discovered that Viking DNA (or rather the R1a1 segment of Viking DNA)was new Norse and had a mutation at DYS (DNA Y Segment) YCAII of 19/21 whereas Farrar is YCAII 19/23 which is known as Slavic or old Norse. The mutation from 19/23 to 19/21 took place at some time about 2,000 years ago when it moved north of modern Oslo in Norway.

It is possible that some Iazyge descendant along the Rhine, where many were posted, eventually wound up in a Danish Viking Band, and it is known that Danish Vikings settled York (Danelawhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danelaw , and the Farrar ancestral home of Ewood is in  West Riding Yorkshire.

Then again it could have been a Pole of substantial means who fled to or moved to or got stranged in England.

William Thomas Farrar, III :
To all of the above I need to add this: http://www.pandp.eu.com/norfolk.htm

The only way to sort it all out is via DNA

"lmost as numerous as the Yorkshire and Durham Farrers, and equally as difficult to sort out, are the 'Farrours' who lived in Norfolk. W. Rye, the author of Norfolk Families discovered this and wrote: As these names are absolutely indistinguishable in early day, I will deal with them together till they separate into the families of Ferrier of Hoo, Wendling, Norwich and Yarmouth.

Henry de Ferriers received 211 manors in Norfolk after the Norman conquest and some families who lived there may be his descendants. Robert de Ferriers held land in West Rudham towards the end of the 12th century and this remained in the possession of his offspring for more than a hundred years.

During in the following centuries, other families became established in nearby villages, all situated to the North-West of Norwich: Sculthorp, Attleburgh, Hoo (or Hoe), Deopham, Wendling and Gressenhall.

Gressenhall Parish Church.

One main branch were lords of the manor of Herefords or Harfords in Gressenhall. They were sufficiently important to have a chapel in the local church named after them which became known as Ferriour's Chantry. John Ferrour of Wendling made his will in 1483 and directed that a priest should be sent from Gressenhall to Rome to sing masses for his soul. He left money for the repair of the buttresses and bells, money to buy bread for his tenants and gave legacies to Norwich cathedral, the monks of Thetford, friars of several houses, the prioress of Carhow and to lepers.

Other families prospered and settled in the city of Norwich. William Ferrour of Deopham was admitted a freeman in 1348, Richard Ferrour, Sheriff in 1468, and Mayor in 1473, 1478, 1483, 1493 and 1498. William Ferrour was Sheriff in 1483.

Out of seventeen freemen of Norwich named Ferrour (or similar) in the 15th and 16th centuries, two were scriveners, two traded in fish, one was a shoemaker and the rest were either weavers, dyers, listers, cordwainers or drapers. Robert Ferrier, son of John Ferrier of Hoo, moved to Norwich and became its mayor in 1536. His descendants prospered from the wool trade in Great Yarmouth during the 17th century.

Ferrour, Ferrier and Ferror were spellings often used by the Norfolk families. In many cases, by the mid 17th century, it had become Farrer. The Gressenhall branch use Arms which consisted of a silver shield and a black lozenge between three black horseshoes. William Ferrour, Citizen and Alderman of Norwich used similar to those of the Ferrers who were Earls of Derby in the 13th century. However, to signify a difference a `chief' was added with three eagle's heads.

Farrars from Norfolk are credited with being the first Farrar settlers to arrive in New England, USA. John Farrow arrived there from Hingham with his wife Frances and one child in 1635. He was amongst a large party who arrived in Massachusetts and established a community called Hingham named after the Norfolk town. It lies 19 miles SE of Boston and in later years the making of iron tools and nails, textiles and fishing were amongst its industries.


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