Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,745 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

4,369 total views, 4 views today




About the study

The Fermor coat of arms, shown above, for which my husband Ron Clarkson, did the art work, is that of Henry Fermor of Welches, Sussex who, on 4 May 1725, was created a Baronet by King George I.
To the best of my knowledge, the family to whom the arms were granted, became extinct with the Baronetcy on 26 October 1784.
The Fermor arms are blazoned: Gules, on a chevron vaire, between three lions rampant Or.  Crest: A tiger passant ermine

Variant names


Name origin

There is speculation that the origin of FERMOR was from the French fermier - farmer, or from the Old English fermor - collector of land taxes.

Historical occurrences of the name

In 1575, Alexander Fermor of 'Walshes', Rotherfield, Sussex, a Yeoman of substantial status and also a Churchwarden, acquired a coat of arms.


On 8 October 1596, the marriage took place between Jane Fermor, daughter of Sir George and Lady Mary Fermor of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire and the fourth Sir John Killigrew of Arwenack, Falmouth. The family name 'Killigrew', signified 'a grove of eagles' - the title of Winston Graham's novel about the family.

The marriage took place c.1628 between James Calthorpe of East Barsham, Norfolk and Mary, daughter of William and Ann Fermor. James became High Sheriff of Norfolk in 1643. He dedicated a splendid monument in All Saints' Church, East Barsham to his wife Mary, his two young children and to his father-in-law William Fermor.

 Sir Henry Fermor, founder of Sir Henry Fermor School, Crowborough, East Sussex was born at Walsh Manor, Rotherfield, Sussex on 23 June 1667. We held our first Fermor Family Reunion at the school in 1994 as part of its 250th Anniversary.

While on a Grand Tour of Europe in 1758, William Fermor of Tusmore, Oxfordshire, sat for the Italian painter, Pompeo Girolamo Batoni. He also sat 'for Batoni's younger contemporary, the German-born Anton Mengs'.

On 18 June 1758, Empress Elisabeth of Russia, bestowed upon Governor-General William Fermor, the merit of Count of the Roman Empire. I understand that a book on the Russian families of Fermor and Stenbok-Fermor is currently being written in 2010.

 Lady Charlotte Finch, daughter of Thomas Fermor, Earl of Pomfret, was appointed Governess of the newly-born Prince of Wales, son of King George III and Queen Charlotte.

 Lady Juliana Fermor, younger sister of Lady Charlotte Finch (nee Fermor) above, married Thomas Penn, son of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, USA. Current research has traced the portrait 'Group of Four Children' by Sir Joshua Reynolds to Bristol Museum Art Gallery where it is in store.

In 1855, Henry and Elizabeth Fermor together with their young family, emigrated to Australia where Henry managed the Australia Hotel in Sydney. In a ceremony on 8 October 1855, Henry's father, Edward Fermor of Hastings, was appointed Provincial Senior Grand Warden, Sussex.

In 1908, the Fermor XI of Ulcombe, Kent played their first cricket match against neighbouring Rumwood Cricket Club, Langley.


Sir Lewis Leigh Fermor will be remembered in geological circles for his work on manganese and the discovery in 1911 of 'Fermorite' at Sitapar, Chindwara district, Central Provinces, India. Fermorite is an apiate-type phosphate-arsenate of calcium and strontium. He also 'liked the races and his tall straight figure might often be seen dancing in Calcutta' - (Directory of National Biography).


Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, son of Sir Lewis Leigh Fermor, who died on 10 June 2011, aged 96 was the celebrated travel writer whose books include Mani; A Time of Gifts; Between the Woods and the Water; Three Letters from the Andes and Words of Mercury published 2003. His biography, Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure by Artemis Cooper is a compelling read and The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos by Patrick Leigh Fermor, edited by Artemis Cooper and Colin Thubron marks the completion of his walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople.

Distribution of the name

To date, although we have traced Fermors in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Africa, South America and the United States of America, the majority still live in Kent and Sussex where some of the earliest records of the name FERMOR were found.
A most rewarding moment in Fermor research was being able to link a living Fermor family in Germany with a living Fermor family in Peru, South America and I'm delighted to add that the two families have since met in Europe.


My late uncle, Laurence Beversham Fermor, researched our family name of Fermor for more than sixty years, recording his findings in books and carefully transferring family trees to numerous scrolls.
Over time, I entered this information on to computer, starting with PAF (Personal Ancestral File) software and then in 1997 transferring the data to Reunion (later Generations) - a program which served me well. I later returned to PAF and when it was discontinued in 2013, I transferred all the data to RootsMagic which offers the option to publish books - indeed a bonus.

Like many families in the early 1900s, the Fermors of Kent had large families and as a result, formed their own Fermor Cricket XI in 1908. Uncle Laurence played in the 1946 Fermor XI against the local village team at Ulcombe, Kent and organised further matches until 1964.

Several years ago, a photograph of the 1908 Fermor XI team, which played against Rumwood XI, Langley, formed the basis of an Open University course project. I've recently used the same photograph as the inspiration for Over Half a Century of Fermor Family Cricket:1908-1964 which combines three books in one volume of the 1908, 1946 and 1963/4 teams. It comprises 168 pages, including 83 photographs and is published by available direct from me.