Show ContentsFirman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Firman is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from the given names Firmin, Farman or Ferman. "The great home of this name and all its varied forms was Norfolk. From hence it extended as Firmin into Essex. In these districts the surname is still common." [1]

The name may have been Norman in origin as Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae listed N. Firmin of Normandy,1180-95 and William Forman, 1198. [2]

Early Origins of the Firman family

The surname Firman was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat at Gateforth, which at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086 was known as Gereford, and granted by the King to Ilbert de Lacy. [3]

As mentioned before, Norfolk quickly became the most popular county for the family. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: John Fayerman and Richard Fayrman, as both holding lands there at that time. [1]In Berkshire, we found Robert ferriman listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1192 and later Richard le Feriman was found in the Assize Rolls of Lancashire in 1246. [4] The latter entry eludes to the occupational nature of some of the family as in "Richard the Ferryman."

Later more records were revealed. Walter Fayrman, was vicar of Lakenham, Norfolk in 1369 and Farman Alberd, was bailiff of Yarmouth in 1325. This same individual is found as Fairman Alberd in 1306. [5]

Early History of the Firman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Firman research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1614, 1632, 1635, 1638, 1647, 1662, 1697 and 1937 are included under the topic Early Firman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Firman Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Firman include Fireman, Fermin, Firmin, Firmins, Firman, Virman and many more.

Early Notables of the Firman family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Humphrey Brook Firman of Gateforth and Brayton in Yorkshire

Ireland Migration of the Firman family to Ireland

Some of the Firman 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 Firman migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Firman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Firman, who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Thomas Firman, who arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1639 [6]

Canada Firman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Firman Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Oleksa Firman, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1899

Australia Firman migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Firman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Jonathon Firman, (b. 1805), aged 35, British Farm Labourer who was convicted in Suffolk, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1840 [7]

New Zealand Firman 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:

Firman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Alfred Firman, (b. 1851), aged 24, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Margaret Galbraith" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th January 1875 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Firman (post 1700) +

  • Robert J. Firman, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 25th District, 1920; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1928 [9]
  • Herbert "Bert" Firman (1906-1999), English bandleader of the 1920s, 30s and 40s
  • Peter "Pete" Firman (b. 1980), English magician, comedian and television presenter
  • Natasha Firman (b. 1976), English racing driver, sister of Ralph Firman
  • Ralph Firman (b. 1975), English-born, Irish racing driver
  • Patricia Firman (1922-1980), Australian model, actress and TV personality
  • Brett Firman (b. 1976), Australian rugby league footballer
  • Birt Firman (1906-1999), British jazz musician
  • Firman Didot (1764-1836), French printer
  • Firman Mack, American politician, Mayor of Joliet, Illinois, 1857-59 [10]

The Firman Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Firmus in Christo
Motto Translation: Firm in Christ.

  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 Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. 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)
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from
  8. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from on Facebook