, one of the oldest and most beautiful island regions of Italy, is the esteemed birthplace of numerous prominent families, including the family that bears the surname Fer. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames
was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they are characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. Although the most common type of family name found in Venice
is the patronymic
surname, which is derived from the father's givenname, names derived from occupations are also found. Occupational
surnames, which are less common than other types of surnames in Italy, date back to the feudal
era. However, under the Feudal
names did not become hereditary until the offices themselves became hereditary. It was only after an occupation
was inherited by several generations in lineal descent that occupational names came to be applied to entire families, and so became a hereditary surname. The surname Fer comes from the Latin word ferro which means iron. The family likely were blacksmiths.
Early Origins of the Fer family
The surname Fer was first found in Modena (Etruscan: Mutna; Latin: Mutina; Modenese: Mòdna), where records can be found in 1271 of the Ferrari family living there at the Villa Mugnano.
Early History of the Fer family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fer research. More information is included under the topic Early Fer History in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Fer Spelling Variations
There are many variations of most of those Italian names that originated in the medieval era. Some of these come from regional differences, like the tradition of ending northern names in "o" and southern names in "i". Others come from inaccuracies in the recording process, which were extremely common in the eras before dictionaries standardized spelling. Some of the spelling variations
of Fer are Ferraro, Ferrari, Ferrario, Ferraris, Ferrai, Ferrero, Ferrarese, Ferreri, Ferrèri, Ferreli, Ferriero, Ferrieri, Ferrerio, Fevrero, Fevriero, Ferrer, Fer, Ferr, Fare, De Ferrari, Deferrari, Defferrari, De Ferraris, Ferrarello, Ferraretto, Ferrarini, Ferrarin, Ferrarotti, Ferrarone, Ferraron and many more.
Early Notables of the Fer family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the family was Giovanni Matteo Ferrari, a doctor in Grado and the court physician to Francesco Sforza; Bartolomeo Ferrari was an ecclesiastic in Milan who studied law before dedicating his life to the church in 1499; Gaudenzio Ferarri (1471-1546), an Italian painter; Antonio Ferrero (died 1508), an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal; Lodovico Ferrari was a famous mathematician in Bologna in 1530; Benedetto Ferrari of Reggio (1603-1681) was a composer and in 1653 to 1662 was maestro of the chapel to the Duke of Modena; Giovanni Baptista (Battista)... Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fer family to the New World and Oceana
In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Fer were found:
Fer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Francois Fer, who settled in Louisiana in 1720
- Joh Bernhart Fer, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1746
Fer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Eugene A. Fer, who settled in Philadelphia in 1817
Fer Family Crest Products