The surname of FARRIS is simply a corruption of Fergus, which was derived from the Gaelic Fearghus. It is traditionally a cognomen of a branch of the Moriartys and in Ulster it is the name of a branch of the Scottish Clan Ferguson. Scottish surnames fall into two quite distinct groups; those of Gaelic origin and those of English origin. The Gaelic language was brought to Scotland from Ireland around the 5th century AD, displacing the British language (an early form of Welsh) previously spoken there as well as elsewhere. Gaelic was the main language of that part of Scotland not subject to English influence, a rather more extensive area than the present day Highlands and Islands, where Gaelic is still spoken in places. It is from these northwestern and western area of Scotland that surnames of Gaelic origin, now almost universally Anglicized in form, have been disseminated around the world. The name has numerous variants of the name which include Feres, Ferres, Phires and Pheres. Early records of the name mention Robert Farrarius who made a gift of land to Newbattle Abbey in 1150. and Matilde Ferers, wife of Richard de London is mentioned in 1170. Reference is made to to a ward of William de Ferrers in Dundee in 1288, and Sir William de Ferrarius is mentioned several times in the reign of Robert I. Mychel Fargisonne appears in the year of 1499 in Scotland. Many Highland families migrated from Scotland to Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries, and were granted the lands of the native Catholic Irish. People heard of the attractions of the New World, and many left Ireland to seek a better life sailing aboard the fleet of ships known as the 'White Sails', but much illness took its toll with the overcrowding of the ships which were pestilence ridden. From the port of entry many settlers made their way west, joining the wagons to the prairies, and many loyalists went to Canada about the year 1790, and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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