Recorded in many spellings from Farrar, Ferrara and Ferrari, to Herrers, Farreres, and Ferreira, this ancient and noble surname is either occupational or residential. It is a derivative of the Roman (Latin) 'Ferrum', meaning iron, and is recorded in almost every European country in the appropriate spelling, making it international in origin. The surname describes either an iron maker, or somebody who lived by or at an iron works. The surname has also derived from two villages in France called 'Ferrieres', places where iron ore was mined.A number of followers of Duke William of Normandy, the conqueror of England in 1066, were from these villages. These people were rewarded with titles, (The earls of Derby), and estates in England, later called Newton Ferrers and Bere Ferrers. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from civil and religious records include Henry Le Ferur, of Leicester, England, in the year 1196, Hugo de Ferrers of Devon, England, in 1252, Agnese Ferrari, at Revo, Trento, Italy, on May 7th 1678, and Pedro Mugina Ferrero, at San Nicolas de Bari, Spain, on September 19th 1686. The coat of arms has the blazon of a red lion rampant on a gold field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Ferrieres, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of the estates of England, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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