This unusual and interesting name is of Old French origin, introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. It is an occupational surname for a worker in iron, a blacksmith, and derives from the Old French term "ferron, feron", ironmonger, smith, from the Latin "ferro", a derivative of "ferrum", iron. The English surname from this source has two forms, Fearon and Feron, while the cognate French forms range from Ferron, Ferronier and Fernier to the diminutives Fer(r)onet, Fernez, and Fer(ro)nel. The London Hundred Rolls of 1273 record three examples of the name: Alan, Stephen and Henry le Reon. Among the recordings of the name in London church registers are those of the christening of Mary Fearon on September 9th 1660 at St. Botolph's, Bishopgate, and of the marriage of John Fearon and Mary ann Contine at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on April 14th 1712. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter le Ferrun, which was dated circa 1179, in the History of St. Bartholomew's Hospital London, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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