Show ContentsFaroe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Faroe is a name that was formed by the Anglo-Saxon society of old Britain. The name was thought to have been used for someone who once worked as a shoer of horses, or a farrier. [1] [2]

In the Middle Ages, horses were the only alternative to walking as a means of transportation. This made the farrier a very important person; not only did they replace horseshoes, but they also diagnosed any number of ailments of the animals. In short, their job was to keep the horse on the road and in good health. This importance was reflected in the fact that they were often free, instead of being bonded to the land in the way that serfs and peasants were.

While this is the generally accepted etymology of the name, one noted source claims the name to be a "corruption of Fair-hair, answering to Le Blond, Harfager, &c. In the Hundredorum Rolls, we have Fayrher. In a document of the year 1555, a Norfolk incumbent is called John Fayrhawr, alias Farrar. " [3]

"All these names are variations of Ferrer. The unstressed -er was slurred in pronunciation and variously spelled -ey, -ah, -a, giving Farrey, Farrah and Farra. This was regarded as an incorrect dialectal pronunciation and the name was re-spelled Farrow, on the analogy of barrow. At Hoxne (Suffolk) in 1835, Dinah Farrer signed the marriage register Farrow. Initial Ph- for F- is common and Pharrow, Pharoe were associated with the biblical Pharaoh, which, however, may occasionally be a pageant name or a nickname." [4]

Early Origins of the Faroe family

The surname Faroe was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire at Wortley, a chapelry, in the parish of St. Peter, liberty of the borough of Leeds. "This place, in the Domesday Survey styled Wyrteley, formerly belonged to the Farrars, of Halifax, from whom the manor was purchased in 1766 by the family of the present owner." [5] "Once a great Yorkshire trade-name, now a great Yorkshire surname." [1]

"The West Riding of Yorkshire would seem to be the principal home of the Farrars or Farrers, though the name has long been known in this county. There was a gentle family of Farrar at Harrold in the 17th century. The Farrers of Halifax were an ancient gentle family, possessing the Eawood estate in that parish in the 16th century (W.); and William Farrer was a Halifax gentleman in the reign of Charles II. (D.). The Farrers of Leeds were an old family of Wortley in that parish, and were lords of the manor at the beginning of last century: in 1694, Miles Farrer was master of the Free School, Leeds; one branch of this family trace their pedigree to the time of Elizabeth." [6]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included the following entries: Willelmus Ferour, ferour; Johannes Crayk, ferour; Hugo Farrour; and Thomas Farrour. [1]

As one would expect with Yorkshire's proximity to Scotland, some of the first records in Scotland were "William Farar, chaplain and charter witness, 1491. Walter Fayrhare was a forestalls in Aberdeen, 1402. In 1559 John Farar in Inverness 'is contentit and he be fundyn slaing salmon on the Vater of Nes to be hangit'" [7] In some cases the name could have been a variant of Farquhar.

Early History of the Faroe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Faroe research. Another 294 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1525, 1613, 1675, 1632, 1641, 1679, 1642, 1402, 1754, 1562, 1585, 1691, 1689, 1691, 1652, 1692, 1796, 1879, 1802, 1884, 1837 and 1802 are included under the topic Early Faroe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Faroe Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Faroe include Farrar, Farrer, Farror, Farrough, Farrow, Farrowe, Varrow, Varrowe, Varow, Vairow, Varer and many more.

Early Notables of the Faroe family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Edward Farrer (died 1691), an Oxford academic and administrator, Master of University College, Oxford (1689-1691); and Joseph Farrow (1652?-1692), and English nonconformist clergyman from Boston, Lincolnshire. Robert Farrier (1796-1879), was an English painter, born at Chelsea, and...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Faroe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Faroe family to Ireland

Some of the Faroe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Faroe family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Faroe were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: John Farrar, who settled in Virginia in 1623; Frances Farrow, who settled in Massachusetts in 1635; Thomas Farrar, who settled in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1640.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Baring-Gould S., Family Names and their Story. London: Seeley, Service & Co. Limited, 1913. Print
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. 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) on Facebook