This picturesque name is of medieval Scottish and English origin, and is a nickname surname for a person with a sunny temperament, deriving from the Middle English 'fair weder', meaning 'weather not wet or stormy'. There is a Scottish legend about the origin of the Fairweather's of Angus, a sept that was a branch of the old tribe of Morres. Three brothers of this ancient tribe, on being forced to leave the North, assumed the name Fairweather, in remembrance of their descent, it being written in the Book of Job 'Fair weather cometh out of the North'. The following examples illustrate the name development: Christopher Farewethir (1472), William Farewedder (1547) and Robert Fairwodder (1609). Janet Fairweather is recorded in the Parish of Olrik, Scotland, in 1664. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Fairweder, which was dated 1274, Lincolnshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272-1308. 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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