Recorded as Ferny, Fernie, Ferney, and at various times Farny, this is an ancient Scottish surname. It is locational and originates from the estate known as 'The lands of Fernie' in the parish of Monimail, in Fifeshire. For the past seven hundred years the clan has had minor nobility status, and according to early heraldic manuscripts dating from about 1350, the chief is allowed to style himself 'Fernie and all that Ilk'. The earliest proven recording is believed to be that of William de Freny who was a juror on an inquest in the county of Fife in the year 1390, whilst Robert de Ferny was a witness to several charters in the period between 1409 and 1413. Later in 1472 William de Ferny of that Ilk, gave a bond to the Lord Oliphant, in recognition of the transfer of certain lands, whilst another chief William Fernie and again recorded as being 'of that Ilk' was a charter witness in 1517. Curiously the name spelling in the 16th and 17th centuries seems to have changed to Farny, with the chief then called William Farny rendering his accounts as chamberlain of the county of Fife, to the chancellor of the Exchequer of Scotland.
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