I've been researching the family since 1962,
The name was spelled phonetically Ferror (fferror in the 14th through 17th century), Fairher, Fairer, Fareher, FarherFerrar, Farrer, Farrar and sometimes Farrow.
The first of the name that I have found was in a tenant of Johannes Hellistones (John Elliston) in Elland, Halifax Parish, Morley Wapentake, County York. In the subsidy roll (Poll Tax of 1377) taken in 1379.
My documented patriarch was Henry Ferror, a woolen merchant,of Yorkshire, that somehow acquired the money, and social status of landed gentry, in 1471 (last year of Henry VI, lst of Edward IV) he purchased the land in Midgley, Halifax Parish, County York and built Ewood Hall.
Midgley is about 7 miles to Elland, both are in Halifax Parish.
The 3rd great grandson of this Henry Ferror, by name of William Ferrar (fferrar in the Jamestown Muster of 1624/25) migrated to America with a purse of silver, in 1618.
Escaping the massacre he, way by boat from the fort at Bermuda"s Hundred (near modern Hopewell) to Beggars Bush, subsequent Jordan's Jorney (sic), a year after he arrived, Samuel Jordan the master of Jordan's Journey died and William married his widow Cecily with whom he had three children.
William had paid for transport of 40 servants from London, for which he was awarded 50 headrights for a total of a 2,000 acre patent.
He never claimed the patent, however his son William II, did and the claimed land was a peninsula around which the James River flowed. Marked by a cut commissioned by Sir Thomas Dale, called Dutch Gap, an attempt to straighten the James, a project not completed until after the Civil war and resulting in the peninsula becoming and island, (Farrars island).
Farrars island is no longer and island, as the upstream side has silted in and is now joined to the mainland.
The Farrar Family was, early on, amongst the leaders of Henrico County, serving as militia officers, sheriff, Burgess. But fortunes started to decline when v Wm Berkeley was appointed Governor in 1643.
Berkeley a scion of an enobled family, on arrival he commenced recruiting the scions of other gentry to assist him in administering the colony.. names like Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Filmer, Lee, Custis.
These sons were incapable of building their own homes and tending their plantations, so in turn they recruited servants and tradesmen from the region around London , The south and west of England.
These servants brought with them the speechways, traditions and cultures of their counties and these survive today as the southern accent (modified with other speechways of course).
The family Farrar was of Yorkshire origin, and there were not many Virginia colonists from the north of England. This put them at a disadvantage when the English civil war brought victory to the Parliamentarians (which were mostly of North and Eastern origin). The victory of the Roundheads resulted in a flight of Royalists (Cavaliers) to Virginia..thus new blood displacing old blood.
Without political social connections the fortune of the family declined such that by 1727, they sold out to Thomas Randolph, brother of William Randolph, grandfather of Thomas Jefferson.
The family relocated up the James to land on the Tuckahoe Creek, bordering the Hugenot settlement of Manakin Town (todays Manakin Farm. Building a plantation subsequently named Rochambeau (today Rochambeau Farm) after the French General without whom Washington could never have defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown.
The eldest sons inherited the plantation for three generations. This was the age of primogeniture, the eldest son would be named for his father, and if the father died sans will, the eldest son inherited all of the property.
There was no public schooling, and the father was responsible for tutoring (educating his own sons), female education by and large was relegated to cooking, sewing, tending the garden, chickens and hogs.
If the father died while any of his sons were young, and there was no male relative able to step in and take charge of the sons education, then the sons grew up illiterate.
Such was the case of my 5th great grandfather, Richard, he had 6 sons, but died before he could tutor sons 2-6, result was that the oldest son Richard Jr was literate, he signed documents in his own name, his younger brothers could only sign with an X.
There wasn't enough land available around the family plantation in Goochland to accomodate the needs of the six children of Richard, not to mention all of their cousins, so the families migrated. Some west further out inGoochland County,
Others, like my family, south into Pittsylvania County, VA (apparently following the lure of Col Sam Harris, a Baptist Missionary from Pittsylvania co),
Along came the Revolution, and southward migration halted, what with the armies of Generals Cornwallis and Green traipsing up and down the main migration road (The Upper Road, which ran from the piedmont of SC to Pittsylvania Co, Va and along which most of the famous battles of the Southern Campaign were fought.
With the Treaty of Paris in 1783, providing safe travel, many of those lads who had espied the rich and open lands of the Piedmont, marching along the Upper Road as militia men, packed up their families and wagons and headed out for paradise.
These would be planterswere sole crop farmers, tobacco in Virginia and North Carolina, cotton in South Carolina and Georgia and both crops depleted the land, and bolstered by fecundity, these families soon found themselves unable to sustain themselves, and thus the push for migration, which from SC and Georgia was westward.
Migration westward took place every generation. From SC to Georgia.
The war of 1812 was actually two wars, the war with England and the war with the Creek Nation, which did not terminate until 1815, with a series of treaties that gradually ceded land to the whites.
The frontier with the Creek nation in 1812 was Jasper County, GA, now the center of the state. The first cession of Creek lands expanded Georgia into what is now eastern Alabama.
Administration of the ceded Creek lands by Georgia was next to impossible, as the only communication route was the Federal Road, cut by an infantry company in 1811 from Columbus Ga to Mobile Ala in anticipation of a war with England.
The general rule on county formation from Virginia through the south, was the county seat had to be reachable within a days ride by horse from the furtherest reaches, if that was not possible then the county was subdivided into new counties.
My family migrated just about every generation, propelled onward and westward by fecundity and soil depletion.
The family spent about 28 years in Perry County, Ala my 2nd great grandfather married the daughter of Andrew Bass of Wayne/Johnston Co, NC, Two of his cousins married the cousins of his wife, and in all there were two sons and five daughters of John Bass and Julianne Holliman, and five daughters of his brother Andrew Holliman. The oldest girl (Molsey Ann Bass) married Rev Elias George of Ocmulgee Church, Perry Co, Al, and in 1848 Rev George sold off his land, packed his belongs, and put together a wagon train comprised mainly of ALL of the sons and daughters of John and Andrew Bass, 12 families in all, and migrated 300 miles west to Union Parish, La a trip of 3 months because of the huge herd of cattle and number of slaves that he had to drive.
Genealogy to me was simply names and dates, without meaning,
But in researching the past I had to research the real history of my ancestors, what motivated them, their trials and tribulations, their successes. The real history of the United States.
I recommend as reading Albion's Seed, Four British Folkways in America.