This unusual and interesting surname has two possible origins; firstly, it may be of Germanic origin, and is either a topographical name for someone living at a windy spot, deriving from the Germanic "fohn" meaning wind, or, a locational name from a place named with that element, such as Fohnsdorf in Austria, from "fohn" plus "dorf", village, hence "windy village". Secondly, it may be of early medieval English origin, from the Middle English "fond" meaning foolish, which was used to describe a "professional fool". The surname dates back to the late 13th Century, (see below). Variations in the spelling of the surname include Foane, Foon, Fonne, Fon, and Fohn. Church Records include the christenings of Maria Fohn, on the 20th February 1598 at Maikammes, Pfalz, Bayern, and John Warfield Fone, son of Jasper and Marcey Fone, on the 2nd December 1683 at St. Gregory by St. Paul, London. One Robert Foane, sailed from London aboard the "Betty" bound for the Barbados in January 1685. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Petrus Fonne, which was dated 1292 in the Subsidy Rolls of Nottinghamshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st - The Hammer of the Scots, 1272-1307. 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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