John “The Elder” Ferrar

John “The Elder” Ferrar

Halifax, Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England
Death 28 May 1628 (aged 79)
Croxton, North Lincolnshire Unitary Authority, Lincolnshire, England
Burial Halifax, Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England
Memorial ID 110467913 · View Source
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John Ferrar, the elder of London, Esq., of Croxton, Co., Lincolnshire, and St. Mary, Aldermanbury, London, was the younger son of William Ferrar of Ewood in Midgley Township, Parish of Halifax Co., Yorkshire, by Margaret, daughter of Hugh Lacey, Esq., of Brearley Hall, Halifax Co., Yorkshire. They had four sons, John, Henry, William and Humfrey.

John Ferrar, Esq., married Cecily (Sissely) Kelke at St. Sepulchre's without Newgate (see attached photo), London by license dated 26 Aug 1574. She was born before 1552 and was a daughter and co-heiress of William Kelke. Her mother was Thomasine Skerne, co-heiress of Percival Skerne, a fishmonger, and his wife, Joan. NOTE: St. Sepulchre's without Newgate, in medieval times stood just outside ("without") the now-demolished old city wall, near the Newgate.

FYI: We are indebted to Miss Alvahn Holmes for the above information. Prior to the research for her 1972 groundbreaking book, "The Farrar's Island Family and its English Ancestry", all references, for many decades, to William Ferrar, (I)'s [1583-1637] parentage indicated his father was Nicholas Ferrar, the wealthy London merchant who also was a prominent member of the Virginia Company. The confusion arose because Nicholas Ferrar also had a 3rd son named William Ferrar who was also a London barrister. This William Ferrar was admitted to the London bar about 3 months after William Farrar, the emigrant to Virginia. Nicholas Ferrar's son, William Ferrar, died in 1620, unmarried, without issue. NOTE: William Ferrar, (I), the emigrant to Virginia, changed the spelling of his last name from "Ferrar" to "Farrar".

In a letter dated 17 Jan 1619, Nicholas Ferrar of London and Little Giddings, refers to William Farrar of Virginia as "Cozen Farrer". Complete information on proving the parentage of William Farrar I of Virginia and having it accepted and recorded by the English "Official Examiners of the College of Arms" can be obtained from Miss Alvahn Holmes' 1972 book, which is still in print (See source #3 below).

In a letter dated 24 June 1966 to Miss Alvahn Holmes from Mr. Rowland Bretton (Honourary Secretary of the Halifax Antiquarian Society and Fellow of the Heraldic Society), he states that if there was any blood relationship between John Ferrar the Elder of London, Esq. and the Ferrars of Little Gidding it would be slight. Little Giddings was owned by Nicholas Ferrar.

Councillor William Farrar, (I), who was baptized on 28 Apr 1583 at Croxton, Lincolnshire was the 3rd son of John Farrar, the elder of London, Esq. William emigrated from England to Virginia in 1618 aboard the "Neptune". His age was recorded as 31 Y/O at the 1623/4 muster when he was living at Jordan's Journey which was an error; he was 41 Y/O. In his 1628 will, John Farrer, the Elder of London, Esq., bequeathed property in Great Amwell, Hoddesdon and Broxburne, Herefordshire, and 20 Pounds annuities from the Farrar estate, "Ewood" in Yorkshire to his son, William Farrar, (I) of Virginia, and in a codicil dated 24 Apr 1628, he leaves William (I) "of Virginia" 50 Pounds "on his return into England" and if he be not living it should be reserved for his wife and children. William did return briefly alone to England for on 06 Sep 1631 William Farrar of London, Gent., by a Deed of Sale, sold his brother, Henry Farrar, of Reading, Berkshire for 200 Pounds the properties and annuities so bequeathed. Since his father's, John Farrar, will had reserved these bequests to William's wife and children, the names of "Cecily his wife and Cecily and William his children" appear in the deed as they relinquished their rights to his inheritance. William and Cecily Farrar's third child, LTC John Farrar (1631-1685), wasn't mentioned due to his birth occurring in Virginia shortly after the transaction in England. (William Farrar, (I) had married Cecily (__?__) Baley Jordan Farrar in 1625 two years before the death of his father, John Ferrar, the elder of London, Esq.) NOTE: Intellectual dishonesty frequently rears its ugly head in the case of the parentage of Cecily (__?__) Baley Jordan Farrar. Stating theory as fact without qualification doesn't make it so but it misleads the uninformed who will further propagate it. Absolutely no record of Cecily's maiden name, the names of her shipboard chaperones or the names of her parents or guardians in Virginia exists but there are many unprovable theories stated as fact. This misinformation is especially seen repeated in Family Trees on where the name "Reynolds" is a favorite for her maiden name, although "Pierce" and even "Jordan" are proposed.

In October 1636, Humfrey, one of William's brothers, willed property to his brothers, Henry and John, but makes no mention of William who is known to have died prior to June 1637, actual date unknown.

1) "Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families" by Douglas Richardson, 2004, p303.
2) "Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families" by Douglas Richardson, 2005, p316.
3) "The Farrar's Island Family and its English Ancestry" by Miss Alvahn Holmes, 1972 pp1-12.
4) "John Pankey of Manakin Town, Virginia and his Descendants" Vol. I by George Edward Pankey (1903-1999), 1969, pp418/19.
5) "Adventurers of Purse and Persons, Virginia, 1607-1624/5", by John Frederick Dorman, 4th Edition, Vol. I, 2004, pp926-929.

Bio by Gresham Farrar.~♥~10 Greats Grandfather~♥~

I have had so many suggestions regarding this memorial. Please if you do have a suggestion, provide proof, otherwise it will remain as is.

Some information from and may contain errors.

Son of William FARRAR (FERROR) and Margaret LACY. He was married 25 Aug 1574 in St Sepulchre's Without Newgate, London, England, Cicely KELKE
John married Susan HANSON
Henry married Martha WOODWARD
William married Cecely nee REYNOLDS

Born 2 December, 1548 at Ewood Hall, Mytholmroyd ,Halifax West Yorkshire, he spent most of his life in Croxton.His son, William, came to America in 1618 and began the Farrar lineage in America. Source: Yorkshire Parish Records (Burials).

Farrar Family Crest
The field of the shield is argent (silver). The field is crossed (looking at it) from the upper left to the lower right by a bend engrailed sable (a broad black band with wavy edges). Three horseshoes of the field. (The three horseshoes are in the bend, or black band). And for the crest (crests were borne upon the helmets to distinguish military leaders and knights when engaged in battle) on a wreath of the colors. (A wreath was composed of two rolls of silk or leather, of different colors, twisted together. The wreath encircled the helmet and supported the crest. The two colors of the wreath, in our case, are silver and black). A horseshoe argent (silver), between two wings or (between two wings of gold).

Family Members


  • Created by: Gresham Farrar
  • Added: 13 May 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 110467913
  • brenda joyce
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John “The Elder” Ferrar (2 Dec 1548–28 May 1628), Find a Grave Memorial no. 110467913, citing St. John the Baptist Minster Churchyard, Halifax, Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England ; Maintained by Gresham Farrar (contributor 47643741) .