This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has several possible sources. The first, and most probable being a metonymic name for a feather trader, or one who manufactured quilts. Another possibility is that of a supplier of quill pens, whilst a further possibility relates to the use of feathers as the 'flights' of an arrow. Certainly arrowsmiths were in popular demand, and they needed 'feathers'. The trade of feather mongers was recorded from the 13th Century onwards, although this seems to be one of the many such trades now extinct. A further source of the surname is as a nickname for a slight person, one as 'light as a feather', and this probably is the appelation of Robert le Feverbycger in the rolls of Essex for the year 1304. The surname development since 1296 includes the following recordings. Adam Ffethir of Cumberland in 1332, Anthony Fedder of Yorkshire in 1544, and Joseph Feathers, the latter being a patronymic, who married Susan Hartley at Haworth, Yorkshire, on April 1st 1645. The modern surname is recorded as Feather, Feathers, andFed(d)er. the name being particulary popular in Yorkshire. The coat of arms is claimed to be one of the oldest ever recorded, being granted being granted to William Feith6ir by King Edward 11 circa 1390 a.d. It has the blazon of a red field, a chevron in ermine between three silver plumes. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Juliana la Fethere, which was dated 1296, in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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