Recorded in a number of spellings including Farthing, Farthin, Farding, Fardin, Farden and Fardon, this is an English surname. It has three possible origins. The first is from the Old English pre 7th century word "feorthing", meaning a quarter of a penny, and a derivative of "feower", four. In later Middle English this became farden or ferthing, and the term was used as a nickname for someone who paid a farthing in rent, which was quite a lot of money, or who had some other anecdotal connection with a farthing.The second possible origin is from a topographical surname for someone who lived on a "farthing" of land, a medieval division meaning the fourth part of a larger area. The third origin is from the Old Norse personal name "Farthegn", composed of the elements "fara", to go and "thegn", a warrior, or hero. Early examples of the surname recording include those of George Farding, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on May 16th 1641, Edward Farthing, an early emigrant to the New World, and who was recorded as resident in the parish of St. Michaels in the Barbadoes in 1678, and Henry Fardon christened at St Mary Whitechapel, in the city of London, on May 25th 1698. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Farthain which was dated circa 1163 - 1166, Documents relating to the Danelaw, London, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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