This ancient German surname is generally accepted as being topographical, but may on occasion be job descriptive as well. Recorded in the spellings of Fahrenbach, Fahrbach, Farenbach, Vahrenbach, and Fahrenbacher, the name describes one who lives either by a brook or who works at such a place, or possibly as in the case of Fahrenbacher, one who comes from such a place. The English version of this name would be either Atbrook or Brooker, the ancient Bithebrook is now believed to be extinct. Topographical surnames were amongst the first of all surnames to be created, as the easiest form of identification in the days when everybody except the nobility, worked on the land, was to name people from the nearest natural feature, by which they lived. This accounts for the relative popularity of Germanic surnames such as Berg (hill), Bach (brook), and Fahl (marsh). Early German recordings tend to be erratic, and many prior to the 16th century have been lost in the numerous wars and civil upheaval which have blighted the region. In this case however we have been able to find some good examples and these include Anna Margaretha Fahrebach, christened at Sankt Reinoldi, Dortmund, on October 5th 1681, and Priska Fahrenbacher, who married Anton Wehle at Altdorf, Friborg, on October 4th 1819. In the USA, Marie Fahrenbach married Amos S Tolman at Loyal Sock, Lycoming, Pa. on May 12th 1830. The coat of arms most associated with this surname has the blazon of argent (white), a fess sable (black), with a chief gules (red). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hermann Fahrenbach, which was dated 1530, the charters of the town of Ludwigstein, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Charles V of the German Empire, reigned 1519 - 1548. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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