This is a name of Scottish origins. Recorded in the spellings of Faichney, Faichnie, Fechnie, Fachnie, Fackney, and the extraordinary Phackney, see below, the name has long been recorded in the Muthill district, in Central Scotland, although the precise origin is unclear. in our opinion although the surname looks vaguely English locational, it is in fact pure Gaelic and probably an anglicised spelling of 'Faelchu', meaning 'The wolf'. This was a mythical nickname for men who were believed to be able to assume the form and nature of a wolf - at will. Whether this was a complimentary explanation is not clear, although certainly in heraldry the wolf yields to none. Examples of early recordings include William Phackney, christened at St Botolphs the Great, London, on October 29th 1646, Joseph fackney, also christened at St Lawrence Jewry, London, on May 2nd 1735, James Faichney, minister at DSt Martins church, Muthill, in 1735, and Janet Fechnie, born at Paisley, on May 15th 1791. Lawrence Faichnie was a witness at Paisley on October 10th 1841. When he married his wife in 1838, he was recorded as Lawrence Faichney, so it seems he was the first holder of the a new spelling form. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Duncan Faichney, which was dated 1591, recorded in the parish of Straigaith, Scotland, during the reign of King James V1 of Scotland, and 1st of England, 1587 - 1525. 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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