This surname FARRAR is an old West Riding surname. Its origin is uncertain. Fayriher occurs in Cambridgeshire in the 13th century, whilst de Ferar or de Ferrar is found in Devonshire, Derbyshire and Oxfordshire. Other spellings of the name include FARRIER, FERRER, FARRER, VAREY, VARROW, VAIROW and VARROW, to name but a few. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066, and Rogero Pharaone who was documented in the year 1158, appears to be the first of the name on record. Hugo Farrour of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Farra was recorded in County Yorkshire in the year 1400. William Farar, was chaplain and charter witness in 1491, Scotland. John Farar was recorded in Inverness in 1559. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Thomas Fayrhar was documented as having had lease of part of the lands of Craigmakeran in 1585. At Hoxne in County Suffolk, a Dinah Farrer signed the marriage register in 1835. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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