This is the patronymic (i.e. meaning "son of " form of the surname "Fern". It is a topographical name for someone who lived at a place where ferns were abundant, the derivation being from the Olde English pre 7th Century "fearn", fern, (a collective noun). There are a number of variations of the name found in the modern idiom, such as "Fearn", "Fairn", "Verne" and "Varnes", the latter with "v" for "f" being the southern forms. Interestingly, "Farnes" can also be found as a variation of the Italian name "Farnese", a family whose name was powerful in Italy durning the Renaissance after the election of Alessandro Farnese (1468 - 1549), to the papay.(Pope Paul III). They later played an important role in the history of Spain. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de la Ferne. which was dated 1275, Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire. during the reign of King Edward I, the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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