The origins of the distinguished surname Few are somewhat unclear. The name is of English origin, and is thought to be derived from the Old English "feawe," meaning "small."
, where the ancestral home of the family is thought to be located. Bearers of Few have been prominent in this county for centuries; their history in this region stretches back to the years following the
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Few research.Another 58 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1748, 1789, 1828, and 1845 are included under the topic Early Few History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon
surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. Changes in Anglo-Saxon
names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Few include Few, Fewe and others.
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Few or a variant listed above:
Few Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Rich Few, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 CITATION[CLOSE]
Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
Few Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- William Few, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cromwell" in 1849 CITATION[CLOSE]
State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Cromwell 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Cromwell.htm