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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Faris family come from? What is the Scottish Faris family crest and coat of arms? When did the Faris family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Faris family history?

On the Scottish west coast, the Faris family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the Scottish surname MacFergus, which means "son of Fergus", which is in turn derived from the Gaelic personal name "Fearghus," composed of the elements "fear," meaning "man," and "gus," meaning "vigor" or "force." This Gaelic name was found early in both Ireland and Scotland. The name is a cognate of with the Cymric "Gwr-gwst," Old Bret. "Urorgost" and the Pictish word "Forcus." This last Pictish form of the name is found on a monument at St. Vigeans in Angus as "Fercos."


In various documents Faris has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. Fergus, Fergie, Forgie, Forgus, Ferris, Farris and many more.

First found in Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-ghaidhealaibh), an area of southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, that formerly consisted of the counties of Wigtown (West Galloway) and Kirkcudbright (East Galloway), Ireland where St. Fergus (Fergustian) (circa 730 AD) was an Irish bishop, who went to Scotland as a missionary. He settled near Strageath and founded three churches in Strogeth and two in Caithness. It is possible that he was the Fergustus Pictus who went to Rome in 721 AD. According to Irish lore, a family of this name descend from Fergus, Prince of Galloway (d. 1161), who is said to have married a daughter of Henry I of England.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Faris research. Another 283 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1466, 1499, and 1582 are included under the topic Early Faris History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Faris family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 168 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Faris Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Peter Faris, who landed in Maryland in 1670

Faris Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Faris, who landed in North Carolina in 1740
  • Fredrick Faris, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753

Faris Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Daniel Faris, aged 40, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1822
  • George Faris, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823
  • J W Faris, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850

Faris Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Elias Faris, who arrived in Arkansas in 1901


  • Frederick F. Faris (1870-1927), American architect, known for his work throughout Wheeling, West Virginia
  • John Thomson Faris (1871-1949), American editor, author, and clergyman
  • James C. Faris, American anthropologist and epistemologist
  • John D. Faris (b. 1951), American priest, educator and author, Chaplain of His Holiness (Monsignor) in 1988
  • Ellsworth Faris (1874-1953), American sociologist, Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Chicago, President of the American Sociological Society in 1937
  • Kelly Elizabeth Faris (b. 1991), American professional WNBA basketball player for the Connecticut Sun
  • Paula Faris (b. 1975), American television correspondent for ABC News, former co-anchor of World News Now and America This Morning, current co-anchor of Good Morning America Weekend
  • Anna Kay Faris (b. 1976), American actress and producer
  • Sean Hardy Faris (b. 1982), American actor, model, and producer, best known for his roles in Never Back Down, The King of Fighters and Forever Strong
  • George Washington Faris (1854-1914), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana (1895-1897) and (1897-1901)



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  1. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  11. ...

The Faris Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Faris Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 30 September 2015 at 11:16.

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