This interesting surname of English origin derives from "Few" a metonymic form of the name "Fewster" which derives from the Ancient French "fuster", "fuyster", old French "fustier", "fuyster", "fustrier", meaning a "saddle-tree maker", plus the diminutive "-in", and "-s", meaning "the son of", hence "the people or descendants of the saddle-tree maker". The surname dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Geoffrey le Fufster (1283) "Freemen of York", and Nicholas le Fuster (1327), "The Close Rolls of Yorkshire". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Fewe, Fehew, Phugh, Phehewe, etc.. One, Thomas Phehewe was christened at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, on July 8th 1582. Bridget Few was christened at St. Mary, Whitechapel, Stepney on July 17th 1586. "Elysabethe Feewens married William Laiton at St. Olave, Old Jewry, London on November 19th 1549, while at Milk street in London on July 27th 1563 Gertrude Fewen married Lawrence Shingleton. At Effington, Surrey Mary Fewings married Jabosh Arrow on February 16th 1698". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter le Fuster, which was dated 1179, "The History of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London", during the reign of King Henry 11, "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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