This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources, the first being a metonymic occupational name for a trader in feathers and down, or a maker of quilts, or possibly a maker of pens, derived from the Middle English (1200-1500) "fether", from the Old English "fether", feather. Feather mongers are recorded from the 13th Century onwards. The second source of the name is from a nickname for a very light person, from the Middle English "fether", as before. The surname development since 1296 (see below) includes the following: Adam Ffethir (1332, Cumberland) and Anthony Fedder (1544, Yorkshire). The modern surname can be found as Feather, Fed(d)er. Among the recordings in London are the christenings of Henry, son of Michaell and Mary Feather, on January 22nd 1665 at St. James', Clerkenwell, and of Joseph, son of Joseph and Elizabeth Feather, on January 17th 1691 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. One Francis Feather married Hannah Moore on November 27th 1744 at St. Luke's, Old Street, Finsbury, London. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017