This interesting surname is a topographic name for "a dweller in the fair hollow", deriving from the Medieval English "fair" itself coming from the Olde English pre 7th Century "foeger" meaning "lovely" or "fair" and the Olde English "cloh", a ravine. The surname from this source is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century. In 1558 one, John Fairclough of Upholland appears in "The Wills Records at Chester". The spelling was transposed to Fear Cloth in 1655. It is interesting to note that in a biography of Dr.Daniel Featley (1582 - 1645), vicar of Lambeth, his nephew John Featley claims that his right name was Faireclough, but this was changed to Faircley, then to Fateley and finally to Featley.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon de Ffairclogh, which was dated 1332 in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as the Father of the Navy 1327 - 1377. 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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