Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1997-05 > 0862708109


From: Dan Wilson <>
Subject: Re: Surname origin
Date: Sat, 03 May 1997 18:08:29 -0700 (MST)
In-Reply-To: <336B8792.3489@pacbell.net>


On Sat, 3 May 1997, . wrote:

> I am trying to find out where my PHARISS/RENFRO surnames came from, I
> have always thought that Phariss was of Irish, and Renfro from Scotch.
> Does any one know where ....and can you led me to them in those
> countries?

Well, FERRIS is considered a sept of the SCottish Clan Ferguson, and
PHARISS sounds a lot like FERRIS. Spelling prior to the 20th century was
rather arbitrary and often determined by immigration clerks who wrote
down names as they sounded. Many of the immigrants were illiterate and
didn't know the correct spellings of their names. On the other hand,
PHARISS might also be a variant of PARISH, although I'll bet on FERRIS.

RENFRO is of SCottish origin.

Dan Wilson
Arizona State Univ.

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