This is an Irish surname, and it has two probable origins. The first is from the pre 10th century Gaelic O' Fearadhaigh, originally the name of a Donegal clan. Here the surname is a nickname, and is believed to translate as "The descendant of the son of the manly one", although the precise meaning is a matter of considerable debate amongst research authorities. The second possible origin refers to the Irish name holders who have English or Viking origins. Here the origination is from the pre 9th century word "ferja", describing one who operates a ferry, or who lives by a ferry, and is hence occupational.The spellings of the surname include Farra, Farrey, Farry, Feighry, Feragh, Feehery, Feary, Fearey, Fery, Ferry and O' Fairy. Examples of recordings include Owen Feary, who married Mary McFadden at Crossroads, Donegal on April 1st 1864, and Patrick Ferry of Dunfaghy, Donegal, christened on May 3rd 1866. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Farra. This was dated February 17th 1688, when he was a christening witness at St. Catherine's Church, Dublin, during the reign of King James 11 of England and Ireland (1690). Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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