Farmar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Farmar is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is a name for a tax farmer. A tax farmer was one who undertook the collection of taxes, tariffs, and such for a fixed sum. [1] The name only refers secondarily to its more literal and obvious connotations of one who worked as a farmer in the modern sense of the word, managing an area of land and growing produce and livestock.

In England, the surname has the expected origin: "a cultivator of the ground" [2] or "one who cultivated a farm." [3]

Early Origins of the Farmar family

The surname Farmar was first found in various counties and shires throughout ancient Britain. To confuse matters, early rolls added the occupation to some entries, thus making research difficult. By example, one of the earliest records was: Robertus Friston, farmer de Parsonage in 1372. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had numerous such entries: Ricardus de Wenteworth, firmarius unius Grauuge; Johannes del Grange, fermour del Grange; and so on. [3]

However, in Scotland records are clearer: "Richard Femiarius was juror on inquest at Peebles, 1262; Alan Fermour witnessed instrument signed at St. Andrews, 1391; the land of Andrew Fermour in Perth is mentioned, 1458; and in the following year William Fermore, presbyter, is in record." [1] This clarity may be as a result of the different meaning of the surname there.

Early History of the Farmar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Farmar research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1250, 1458, 1619, 1553, 1586, 1480, 1551, 1623, 1661, 1648, 1711, 1623, 1661, 1603, 1640 and 1066 are included under the topic Early Farmar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Farmar Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Farmar family name include Farmer, Farmere, Farmers, Fermare and others.

Early Notables of the Farmar family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Fermor of Easton Neston, Northampton, who was ennobled in 1553, in the presence of Queen Mary. His son, Sir George Farmer, was made a Knight in 1586 in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Richard Fermor (1480-1551), was an English wool merchant; and his grandson Sir Hatton Fermor, inherited the estates at Easton Neston, Northamptonshire. His son, Sir William Fermor, 1st Baronet (1623?-1661), was an English officer in the Royalist army during the English Civil...
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Farmar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Farmar family to Ireland

Some of the Farmar family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Farmar migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Farmar family to immigrate North America:

Farmar Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hump Farmar, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [4]
  • Row Farmar, who settled in Virginia in 1677
Farmar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Stephen Farmar, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [4]

New Zealand Farmar 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:

Farmar Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Emma Farmar, (b. 1843), aged 22, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Greyhound" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th May 1865 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Farmar (post 1700) +

  • Thomas B. Farmar, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Maryland 2nd District, 1914 [6]
  • Thomas Farmar, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County, 1801-02, 1804-05, 1807-11 [6]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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