This interesting and unusual surname is of Old Scots-Gaelic origin, and is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic personal name "Fearchar", meaning "dear or beloved man", composed of the Gaelic elements "fear", man, and an obscure element meaning "dear, beloved". Ferchart was the father of Fergus, one of the perambulators of boundaries in a Newbattle charter, circa 1178. Farhard, "judex de Buchan", witnessed a charter by William umyn, earl of Buchan, circa 1200. One Ferkar was earl of Ross from 1224 - 1230, and Macbeth filius Ferchware is recorded in 1283. The surname is also found in County Down, Ireland, where it was introduced by Scottish settlers, and is also found as Farker here. The original surname first appears in the mid 15th Century (see below), while other early examples include: Andrew Ferquhar, a burgess of Montrose in 1526, and Andro Pharquhair, who was a witness in Kirkwell in 1543. George Farquhar (1678 - 1707) was a notable dramatist, author of "The Beaux' Stratagem", who according to the "National Biography", "died of mortification at not receiving the captaincy promised him". A Coat of Arms granted to a Farquhar family of Ayrshire, Scotland, depicts on a silver shield a black lion rampant armed gold, between three sinister hands couped paleways, red. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andro Farchare, burgess of Ayr, which was dated 1450, in "Charters of the Royal Burgh of Ayr", Scotland, during the reign of King James 11 of Scotland, 1437 - 1460. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.