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Home: Surnames: Farris Family Genealogy Forum

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Posted by: Dan Farris (ID *****0396) Date: August 04, 2012 at 19:25:24
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I would like to offer this essay in a position of possible misinterpretation of information presented to us by people we hold as unquestionable authority on the origins of our genealogical history. I believe the word FAIRE in THE FAIRES OF SCOTLAND was originally intended (within context) to represent a festival rather than a family name. After over 30 years of playing in genealogy, I still regard myself as a rookie or novice at best. It is not my intention to criticize or place blame on anyone, but am merely offering an observation. Rather than listing my sources for unsolicited further research by others, I tried to type them out as diligently as possible for convenience of the reader. I make no claims of right from wrong but invite the reader to be their own judge.
Concerning a comment which has been repeated by many posters and researchers, site a comment “IAN ESOM FARRIS was from Rutherglen, Scotland, where the FARRIS (FARIE) people (see above notes) had lived for 600 years before emigrating to Albermarle Settlement, North Carolina in 1663”. (This information came from A Partial Genealogy of the Farris Family, by John Farris McGauhey, Jr. of Dallas TX. In print and available through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. Book No. 929.273 A1 no. 8321. Transcript, 1887 – 1888.
I recently came across an article entitled The Historical Background to the Site of Rutherglen Old Parish Church which includes the paragraph. The area round the church and graveyard was once the site of an important ‘Fair’. In his Book of Common Order published in 1564, John Knox lists what he called the “Faires of Scotland” i.e. Fairs of Scotland. St. Luke’s Fair is listed as being held on October 18th in ‘Ruglane’. October 18th is St. Luke’s Day and the Kirk Session has recently introduced a service of Communion on the Sunday nearest to that date to mark St. Luke’s Day and so maintain a link with this tradition of the past.
Page 5 of THE JOHN KNOX LITURGY , or “The Book of Common Order” .
…(oc)cur, believing that “the second commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images, or in any other way not appointed in His Word.” We shall see that the liturgy in question is loyal to this principle. On opening the book the first thing that strikes us is
with dates of the church festivals, such as “Lenton,” “Pasche,” “Whitsonday,” “Circumsion,” “Purif. Mariae,” etc. but these were retained, not because the church observed these days, but because the dates of fairs and other secular transactions had been so long regulated by them that it was convenient to have the times of their recurrence readily available. All festivals of human appointment were abolished, without exception. Whether we agree with Calvin, who retained the chief holy days of the Christian year, or with the Scottish reformers who, more rigidly logical, abolished them, the fact is beyond question that the only day recognized by the Presbyterian church as binding upon the conscience is the weekly Sabbath, although she claims the right to appoint days of fasting or thanksgiving as occasion may require. Then follows the “Names of
These were generally held on the day sacred to the patron saint of the place, or other religious festival of pre-reformation times. It is so long since Scottish churches were called by the names of the saints to whom they were originally dedicated that ecclesiastical antiquarians not infrequently find in the date of the parish fair, compared with the Roman calendar, a cue to the name of the forgotten saint whom the founders wished to honor or whose relics were deposited beneath the altar.

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