This ancient surname is of pre Christian and Roman origins. Recorded in over seventy spellings from Farrar, Farrah, Pharro and Pharoah, to Ferrara, Ferrari, Varey, Varrow and Ferrarotti, the name derives from the Latin word "ferrum", through in other countries the later French "ferreor" , and the Middle English "Farrier". All originally had the same basic meaning of an iron worker, although over the centuries more specific meanings have been applied. In Britain for instance the term refers to a maker and fitter of horseshoes, whilst just as Hoover means a vacuum cleaner, Ferrari is in the late 20th century, a term for all that is most desireable in a car. The earliest hereditary surname recordings in the world are to be found in England, that country being the first to accept and record surnames. It is from there that the examples of the early recordings are entered here. These include Hugo Farrour, in the Poll Tax returns for the county of Yorkshire in the year 1379, and in 1517 Doctor Pharor is recorded in the register of the guild of Corpus Christi, in the city of York. One of the very first of all landowners recorded in the new American colony of Virginia, was William Farrar. He held a grant of one hundred acres "Uppon Apmatcke River" on the north side of the James River. This grant is dated 1626. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Thomas le Ferrur, and dated 1275, in the rolls of the county of Yorkshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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