This interesting and unusual name derives from two possible origins. Firstly it may be of English locational origin from one of the seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets which have "disappeared", due to clearing of land for sheep pastures in 14th Century or villages decimated by the Black Death, 1348. The original place name is believed to have existed in Yorkshire, as church recordings of the name are numerous in the county and was composed of the Old English element "fearn", fern, and the Old Norse element "-byr", village, homestead, common in parts of England where Scandinavians settled the name may also be a dialectal variant of "Ferraby", from "Ferriby" in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. John Fereby, alias "Verby" founded a Grammer School at Campden, Gloucester in 1487. Margereta Farnaby was christened at Howden, Yorkshire on June 10th 1548. William Farnaby was christened at St. Nicholas, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland on December 21st 1563. Thomas Farnaby (1575-1647), a schoolmaster and classical scholar, sailed in Drake and Hewkins last voyage and was commissioned by Charles 1 to prepare a new Latin Grammar, and was a friend of Ben Jonson. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Feriby, dean of Cranwich, which was dated 1388, Feet of Fines of Norfolk, during the reign of King Richard 11, "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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