This interesting name is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and has two possible interpretations. Firstly, it may derive from a nickname for a person with iron-grey hair, or one who habitually dressed in grey, from the Old French 'ferrant', (iron)grey, a derivative of 'fer', iron, from the Latin 'ferrum'. Secondly, the modern surnames Farrant, Farrent, Farran(d), Ferran(d) and Farren, may derive from the medieval personal name 'Ferrant, Ferrant', Old French forms of the originally Old Spanish given name 'Ferdinand', composed of the elements 'farth', journey, expedition, with 'nanth', daring, brave. The given name is recorded in the Latinized form 'Ferrandus' in the Essex Pipe Rolls of 1190, and as 'Ferant' in 1249. The marriage of John Farrent and Allse Pert was recorded at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London, on January 23rd 1667. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert Ferrant, which was dated 1188, The Warwickshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'The Builder of Churches', 1154 - 1189. 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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