This interesting old name is of early Medieval English and French origin. It was an occupational surname for a worker in iron. The name derives from the Old French term "ferreor", itself originally from the Roman (Latin) "ferrum". The word and hence the later surname was introduced into England at the time of the Norman Conquest, and during the next three centuries when French was the official language, it became well established as a surname. Later it was introduced again with the arrival of Hugunenot protestant refugees in the 16th and 17th centuries. Amongst the early recorded examples are James Farro of Yorkshire in 1525, and William Farrowe of the same county in 1528. The different spellings include Farrar, Farrer, Farrah, Farra, Farrey, Farrow, Faro, Pharaoh, Pharo, Pharro, Pharrow, and the dialectals Vary, Varah, Varrow, Vairow, Varey, Very, Verry, and Virie, some of which are also recorded in France. Amongst the recordings in the early surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London are those of Beatrice Varie, christened at St Mary Somerset, on October 25th 1584, Jean Veerrie, a witness at the French Church, Threadneedle Street, on May 19th 1633, and Francis Varey who married Grace Dickinson, at St James church, Dukes Place, on September 10th 1694. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Farrour. This was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11nd of England, 1377 - 1399. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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