This interesting surname is of Norman origin and was introduced into England by the Norman invaders after the 1066 Invasion. It derives from the Olde French "Pourmage" meaning cheese and is a medieval metonymic occupational name for "a maker or seller of cheese". Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation and later became hereditary. Herbert furmage, appears in the 1160, Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). One, Henry Firmage, is noted in the 1524 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk. In the modern idiom, the surname has many variant spellings including Firminge, Furmage, Furmidge, Firmage, Farmidge, Formage, etc.. Recordings of the surname from the London Church Registers include; Mary Furmage, who married Humphry Haughton on April 16th 1663, at St. Michael Bassinshaw; Amy Elizabeth, daughter of William and Mary Furmedge, who was christened on November 13th 1862, at Old Church, St. Pancras; and Charles Furmedge, who married Emma Goodwin on May 20th 1877, at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Luke Formage, which was dated 1280, Assize Court Rolls of Somerset, 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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