This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a nickname deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "faeger", beautiful, fair, lovely, and "brothor", brother. The name would originally have been given to the "brother of a fair person", or else to the better-looking of a pair of brothers. In some instances the surname may derive from "father's brother" (uncle). The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Fairbrother, Fairebrother, Farbrother, Farebrother and Fayerbrother. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Marie, daughter of Thomas Fairbrother, on August 24th 1600, at St. Bartholomew Exchange, and the christening of John, son of Richard Fairebrother, on April 11th 1604, at St. Mary Colechurch. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a red shield with a silver chevron, in chief a silver bezant between two silver lions heads' erased, the Crest being a cockatrice displayed proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Fayerbrother, which was dated 1524, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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