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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Farr family come from? When did the Farr family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Farr family history?

The name Farr is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was name for a person who was described as being fierce or lusty. The surname is derived from the Old English word farr, which meant bull.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Farr have been found, including Farr, Farre and others.

First found in Yorkshire. While most researchers believe that the name is Anglo-Saxon in origin, we must not dismiss the possible Norman origin. For example, Radulphus Fere of Nomandy was listed there in 1180 and 1195 and the Rotuli Hundredorum ( Hundred Rolls) c. 1272 list Walter Fere of England. [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Farr research. Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1381 and 1400 are included under the topic Early Farr History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Farr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Farr family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become powerful new nations. Among early immigrants of the Farr surname to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were:

Farr Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Barnabas Farr settled in New England in 1620
  • Edward Farr settled in St. Christopher in 1635
  • Edward Farr, aged 28, landed in St Christopher in 1635
  • Mary Farr, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • Mary Farr settled in Virginia in 1650

Farr Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Judith Farr, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • AnnaMaria Farr, who arrived in America in 1750

Farr Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Wilhelm Farr, aged 39, landed in New York in 1849
  • Willson Farr, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • James Farr, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854
  • Henry Farr, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1862

Farr Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Farr, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Solomon Farr, English convict from Wiltshire, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Charles Farr arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Charles Farr arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "D'Auvergne" in 1839
  • Sophia Farr arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "D'Auvergne" in 1839

Farr Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Farr landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mary Farr arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • Jane Farr arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • W. Aubrey Farr arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Siam" in 1865
  • George Farr, aged 30, a sawyer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875


  • Melvin "Mel" Farr (1944-2015), American NFL football player who played for the Detroit Lions from 1967 to 1973
  • Felicia Farr (b. 1932), born Olive Dinesis, a former American actress and model, second husband was the film star Jack Lemmon
  • Samuel Sharon "Sam" Farr (b. 1941), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California (2013-)
  • D'Marco Farr (b. 1971), American former NFL football defensive tackle, awarded the Morris Trophy (1993), Super Bowl champion (XXXIV)
  • Steven Michael Farr (b. 1956), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1984 to 1994
  • James Alfred Farr (b. 1956), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Diane Farr (b. 1969), American actress, known for her roles as FBI agent Megan Reeves in the CBS television series Numb3rs
  • Jamie Farr (b. 1934), born Jameel Joseph Farah, American television and film actor best known for his role in M*A*S*H
  • William Farr (1807-1883), English statistician from Kenley, Shropshire, regarded as one of the founders of medical statistics
  • Mr. Henry J Farr, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking



  • The Ancestors and Descendants of Julius E. Farr by Mileta Farr Kilroy.
  • The Family of Willis Vernon Farr: Past and Present Including Descendants of His Grandfather, Ivah Newton Farr, and a Number of Female Lines by Jayne E. Bickford.


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)

Other References

  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 27 August 2015 at 16:08.

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