Recorded in several forms as shown below, this is an ancient English surname. It name derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word 'foege' meaning fair or lovely, and 'mann', which could have a variety of meanings. This surname was originally given in medieval times either as a descriptive nickname for a particulary handsome man, or just possibly as an occupational name for a good servant. The surname is first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century, hence making it very early, and examples include Reginald Fareman or Feierman who appears in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Norfolk, in the year 1208, and Robert Farman in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Somerset in 1221. The latter was also known as Robert le Bel, from the Olde French word 'bel' meaning beautiful. In the modern spellings forms of the name include Fairman, Fayerman, Fermin, Fierman, Firmin, Firman, and perhaps surprisingly, Fireman. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Fariman. This was dated 1201, in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King John of England who had the unfortunate surname of 'Lackland'. He reigned from 1199 to- 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.