This unusual and interesting surname is of Old French origin, and is from an occupational name for someone who made and/or sold cheese, derived from the Old French terms "formagier" or "fromagier". The name was introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror after the Norman Invasion of 1066. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname was first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: William le Furmager (1219, Yorkshire); Robert Formagier (1273, Lincolnshire); and John Furmonger (1490, Cambridgeshire); while one Andrew Firminger was recorded as a witness in the Calendar of Proceedings in Chancery, during the reign of Elizabeth 1 (1558 - 1603). Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Thomas Furminger and Elizabeth Woodwares on January 5th 1636, at St. Gregory by St. Paul; the christening of their daughter, Grace, on August 28th 1639, at St. Giles' Cripplegate; and the marriage of Sarah Furminger and Richard Street on May 26th 1685, at St. James', Duke's Place.. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Furmagier, which was dated 1198, in the "Pipe Rolls of Kent", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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