Fermor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Fermor is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 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 Fermor family

The surname Fermor 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 Fermor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fermor 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 Fermor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fermor Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Fermor are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Fermor include Farmer, Farmere, Farmers, Fermare and others.

Early Notables of the Fermor 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 Fermor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fermor family to Ireland

Some of the Fermor 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 Fermor migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Fermor, or a variant listed above:

Fermor Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Fermor, who landed in Maryland in 1635 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Fermor (post 1700) +

  • Patrick Michael Leigh "Paddy" Fermor (1915-2011), English travel writer, scholar and soldier who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Cretan resistance during the Second World War, son of Sir Lewis Fermor
  • Sir Lewis Leigh Fermor OBE, FRS (1880-1954), English geologist, the first president of the Indian National Science Academy


  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)


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