Fairhead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Fairhead family

The surname Fairhead was first found in Midlothian, where they held a family seat on the English/Scottish border. The name was first recorded in Scotland in Fairholm now called Farme. The old lands of Farme are now included in the town of Rutherglen.

Ancient records of the family are scarce, so we must look to 17th century records that include: Jemet Fairum who was married in Edinburgh in 1604, Marion Fairholm who appears in Overtoun of Quodquen, 1621, and three more of the name are in record in Lanark.

So as to underscore the many spellings of the name, we draw the readers attention to Charles Ferm, Ferme, Farholme, or Fairholm (1566-1617), Principal of Fraserburgh University, who "was born in Edinburgh of obscure parentage. His name is spelled in divers ways; he signs himself 'Carolus Pharum' (after 1588), and 'Chairlis Ferm' (21 Feb. 1605). Calderwood spells the name 'Farholme.' Adamson latinises it 'Fermæus.' In 1596 and again in 1597 'Mr. Charles Fairme' was called to the proposed second charge at Haddington, but he preferred his college work. On 12 Sept. 1598 'Mr. Charles Ferume' preached in the High Kirk of Edinburgh, later in the same year he was reported as 'gane to the north parts.' He accepted the charge of Philorth, Aberdeenshire, incorporated in 1613 under the name of Fraserburgh, the intention of the patron, Sir Alexander Fraser (d. 1623), being that Ferm should be the head of a university which he was proposing to establish." [1]

John Fairholm, (died 1646) was merchant burgess of Edinburgh and a few years later, John Ferholme was merchant burgess there in 1655. We must presume that the latter was presumably son of the former. George Fairholme was a tanner at the West Port of Edinburgh in 1653. Fairholm of Craigiehall was an old family in West Lothian. [2]

Early History of the Fairhead family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fairhead research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 158 and 1587 are included under the topic Early Fairhead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fairhead Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Fairholm, Farme, Fairhome, Fairholm, Ferme, Pharne, Pharme, Pherme, Ferholm and many more.

Early Notables of the Fairhead family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Fairhead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fairhead migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fairhead Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Fairhead, who settled in Nebraska in 1871

New Zealand Fairhead migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Fairhead Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Fairhead, aged 33, a carpenter, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Rhoda Fairhead, aged 37, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Elizabeth A. Fairhead, aged 11, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • William J. P. Fairhead, aged 9, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Rhoda J. Fairhead, aged 7, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Fairhead Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fide et firme
Motto Translation: Faithfully and firmly.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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