This interesting surname of English origin has spellings which include Redfern, Redfearn, and Redferne. It is locational and originates from the village of Redfern near the town of Rochdale, in Lancashire. It derives from the Old English pre 7th Century word "read" meaning red plus 'fearn' meaning fern or bracken. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes and moved somewhere else. In this case early examples of recordings include Alice Redfearne who married William Midleton on July 5th 1590, at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, city of London, whilst James Redfearn of Redfern, is recorded in the Wills register of the city of Chester in the year 1604. Another recording is that of Edmund Redfearn, of the parish of Rochdale who is also recorded in the Wills register, but in 1616. James Frank Redfern (1838-1876) was a sculptor. He began to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1859, and executed many works for Gothic church decoration. John Redfern, aged twenty, was a famine emigrant. He sailed from Liverpool aboard the ship Ottawa bound for New York on May 12th 1846. Thomas Redferne witnessed the christening of his son Humphrie, which was dated 1567, at St. Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st known to history as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603.
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