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Ferrer is a valencian-catalonian surname. The translation in English for this surname would be "Smith". I haven't fount any trustable source that supports the comment that Saint Vincent's father was of English origin.--188.8.131.52 (talk) 06:48, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
There was a passionate sockpuppet adding things along the same line at Ferrer (surname). Things over there kept slanting towards saying that all of the Valencian-Catalonian name were of English/Norman origin; but the only refs used however were dodgy websites selling coats of arms and other dubious websites. There must be a modern and reliable account of this man which describes his familiy's origins. Though i don't know which books to look for. Any ideas?--Celtus (talk) 07:05, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
i'm afraid you will have to learn Spanish... There isn't a single reference suggesting a foreign origin of Ferrer's family in any Spanish website. In the book published by Jesus Caudevilla, page 2, Caudevilla clearly writes that Ferrer family members had been for a long time (going back to 1240) public notaries of the Kingdom of Valencia. Other references.  --184.108.40.206 (talk) 17:11, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Yep. It'd seem to me that there'll be many more Spanish sources on him than those in English. I just looked through GoogleBooks, there's a book called Butler's lives of the saints which is a 1999 reprint . I'm not sure how old the original is. I'm not sure that this is cutting edge scholarship, but i have no idea. Page 30 has the bio on Ferrer. It says "... the son of William Ferrer, an Englishman who had settled Spain, and his Spanish wife, Costanza Miguel." There's another book called St. Vincent Ferrer, his life, spiritual teaching, and practical devotion, from 1875 . Page 2 states, "These were William Ferrer, a descendant of an ancient Catalonian family, and Constance Miguel, the daughter of a naval officer and kinswoman of the Bishop of Valencia." The only recent and reliable looking book i can on GoogleBooks is one which is referenced to in the article The late medieval age of crisis and renewal, 1300-1500. Page 490 has Ferrer's bio, but all it mentions is that he was the "second son of notary of some standing, William Ferrer. His younger brother, Boniface, is also of historical importance." So things aren't any clearer. I think that unless something better turns up, the Anglo-Norman stuff should be left out for now.--Celtus (talk) 06:08, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
There are actually a lot of sources in the Spanish-language internet that claim that ferrer has an English origin. If it does, it may a cognate of the English word "ferry", in this case probably referring to a person that transports things or people (O.E. "ferian") and related to the word "fare" . I have no idea if this is true, but one would understand why there is so much skepticism about it, since the origin from the Latin ferrum - iron, is so much more straight-forward, and widely extended in other Romance languages (Ferrero, Ferrari, Herrero, Herrador, etc).
Ferrer's original vita (life) written by Petro Ranzano shortly after his canonization (see Acta Sanctorum, BHL MS 8658, April 5) makes no particular mention of his parent's ethnicity, only saying "Beatus Vincentius ex Valentia... et ex antiqua honestaque Ferrariorum familia nativitatis duxit originem" (Blessed Vincent was originally from Valencia, having been born from the old and upright Ferrer family". A 19th century vita written by Andrew Pradel (OP) and translated into English gives his ancestry as purely Spanish, with his parents as "William Ferrer, a descendant of an ancient Catalonian family, and Constance Miguel, the daughter of a navel officer and kinswomen of the Bishop of Valencia." Kerregor (talk) 22:33, 4 May 2012 (UTC)