This unusual and interesting surname is of Old German origin, and is from an occupational name for a dyer, derived from the German "farber", an agent derivative of the Middle High German "varwe", colour, itself deriving from the Old German pre 10th Century "farawa". Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname was introduced into England in the late 17th Century, the earliest recording in London being that of the christening of John Ferber, on June 28th 1672, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The modern surname can be found as Ferber, Farber, Ferver and Faerber, and recordings in German Church Registers include the christening of Johannes Sebastian, son of Johan and Anna Maria Ferber, on November 25th 1608, at Landauin, Pfalz Stadt, Bayern, and the marriage of Johan Matthias Ferber and Cecilia Campermans, on July 2nd 1658, at Sankt Lambertus, Duesseldorf Stadt, Rheinland. A Coat of Arms granted to the Ferber family is a red shield with a gold cross pomel. In Heraldry red signifies Military Fortitude and Magnanimity, gold denotes Generosity and Elevation of Mind, and the cross is representative of the Christian Faith and the Love of God for sinful men. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ludwig Ferber, which was dated January 11th 1562, christened at Annweiler Reformierte Lutherische, Pfalz, Bayern, Germany, during the reign of Ferdinand 1, Holy Roman Emperor, 1558 - 1564. 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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