Recorded in many forms including Fermoy, Formoy, Formie, Formey, Formee, Fourmey, and no doubt others, this is an English surname. It is however spelt, a variant of the word and surname Farmer. The ultimate derivation is from the pre 11th century Old French word "fermier", from the late Latin "firmarius". The term denoted in the first instance a tax-farmer, one who undertook the collection of taxes, revenues, and imposts, paying a fixed sum for the proceeds, and only secondarily someone who rented land for the purpose of cultivation. The surname development since the 13th century has included such examples as: William le Farmere (1279, Cambridgeshire), Richard Fermor (1293, Devonshire), William Furmy (1565, Herefordshire) and Samuel Fermy (1689, London). There is also a place called Fermoy in County Cork, in Ireland, which means "the man of the plain", however, Irish surnames rarely derive from placenames, and there are no recordings of this name in Ireland. Among the sample recordings in Devon is the christening of James, son of James Elizabeth Fermoy, on October 28th 1750 at Stoke Damerel, and that of James Formoy, at St Dunstans in the Easst, Stepney, on June 18th 1827. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wiiliam le Fermer. This was dated 1238, in the tax records known as "The Feet of Fines" for the county of Essex. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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