Fairlam is an interesting variant of the place name 'Farlam', which arises from the location of that name in Cumbria. This name is a derivative of the Olde English pre 7th Century term 'Fearn' (fern) and the dative plural form of 'leah' (wood, clearing). The first recorded spelling of Farlam as a placename was in 1169. This spelling is recorded as a surname in 1560 for the christening of Agnes Farlam on November 28th at Dacre in Cumbria. The christening of Grace Fairlame on October 10th 1596 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London gives us another example of a variant. Another christening recorded in Cumbria, was for one Robert Fairlam on December 18th 1703 at Cultram in Cumbria. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Ffarlham, which was dated 1332, in the Subsidy Rolls of Cumbria, 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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