The parish of Farndon is in Cheshire. It is some eight miles from the city of Chester and comprises five villages with a total population of about 860 people. First recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Ferentene', which broadly translates as 'the fern covered hill' from the Olde English 'fearn dun', the spelling had moved to its near modern form by about the year 1187 when it is recorded in the charters as 'Ferenden'. The surname is much later and follows a pattern of similar locational surnames from the Cheshire area. That is to say that certainly in its early days the surname is not recorded in the locality of Chester at all. The first church recordings that we have been able to establish are in London, as early as the mid 16th century, some fifty years before registers were established in Farndon itself. The early recordings include Joane Farndon, who married Thomas Blackway at the church of St Katherines by the Tower (of London) on July 6th 1639, and Sarah Farnden, who married Walter Dobell at St Vedast, Foster Square, London, on September 1st 1654, in the 'reign' of Oliver Cromwell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ann Farredin, which was dated July 15th 1571, christened at St Andrews, Holborn, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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