This very unusual name is of early medieval English origin, and is a late example of the many intriguing variants of the more familiar surname Farrar. This is an occupational name for a smith or worker in iron, derived from the Middle English and Old French "ferreor, ferour", a derivative of "fer", iron, from the Latin "ferrum". Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The first recording of the surname from this source is that of Henry le Ferrur, in the Leicestershire Curia Rolls of 1196; other early examples include Willelmus Ferour and Thomas Farrour, both recorded in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. The modern surname has forms ranging from Farrar, Ferrer, Farra(h), Farrow and Faro to Pharrow, Pharoah, Varah, Var(e)y, Varrow, Vairow and Vayro; the dialectal interchange of "F" and "V" and "Ph" is a common one in late medieval surnames. Examples of the name from Yorkshire Church Registers include: the marriage of Agnes Varye and Rowland Revell in Rotherham, on June 3rd 1590; the marriage of Elizabeth Vayroye and Robert Braithwaite on November 3rd 1639, at Sedburgh; and the christening of Isabel, daughter of John Vayro, in Coverham, on June 4th 1776. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Veyrey, which was dated January 24th 1558, marriage to Elizabeth Preston (or Rawson), at Rotherham, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Mary, known as "Bloody Mary", 1553 - 1558. 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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