Show ContentsFerence History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ference is an ancient Anglo-Saxon surname that came from the given name Farimond. The surname Ference originally derived from the Old French word Ferrant which meant iron-grey. The surname Ference was later adopted in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.

Early Origins of the Ference family

The surname Ference was first found in the eastern counties of Norfolk, Cambridge and Oxfordshire and it is from this latter shire that we found the first record of the name: Henry Ferant who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Walter Ferrant was listed in the same census but was found in Cambridgeshire. Finally, the same source lists Benedict Feraunt in Norfolk. [1]

Early History of the Ference family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ference research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1530, 1580, 1564, 1569, 1580, 1575, 1671, 1600 and are included under the topic Early Ference History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ference Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Ference has been recorded under many different variations, including Farrant, Farrand, Farrin, Farrent, Farren and others.

Early Notables of the Ference family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Richard Farrant (c. 1530-1580), English composer of church music, choirmaster, playwright and theatrical producer who created the Blackfriars Theatre. The date of his first appointment is not known, but he resigned in April, 1564, on becoming Master of the Children of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, of which he is said to have been also a lay vicar and organist. During his tenure of office at Windsor he occupied 'a dwelling house within the Castle, called the Old Commons.'...
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ference Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Ference family to Ireland

Some of the Ference family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ference migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Ference or a variant listed above:

Ference Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jan Ference, aged 26, who settled in America, in 1895
  • Josef Ference, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States, in 1895
Ference Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Ference, aged 29, who landed in America from Burnbank, Scotland, in 1908

Contemporary Notables of the name Ference (post 1700) +

  • Michael Ference Jr. (1911-1996), American Democratic Party politician, University professor; Scientist; Vice-president for research, Ford Motor Company; Member of Wayne State University Board of Governors, 1960-63 [2]
  • Brad Ference (b. 1979), retired Canadian professional NHL ice hockey player
  • Andrew James Stewart Ference (b. 1979), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey defenceman, Stanley Cup champion

  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. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from on Facebook