Ferrer (surname)

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Family name
Blacksmith at work02.jpg
A close-up of a blacksmith at work.
Meaning an occupational name for an ironworker or blacksmith.
Region of origin 1. Catalonia
2. England
Language(s) of origin Latin: ferrarius
Related names Farrar
Footnotes: [1]

Ferrer (English: /ˈfɛrə/, Eastern Catalan: [fəˈre], Western Catalan: [feˈre(ɾ)]) is a surname of English and Catalan origin, considered to be originally English.[2][3] Ferrer is an occupational surname for a blacksmith or ironworker - derived from the Latin ferrarius - and thus shares a common occupational derivation with the most common English surname, Smith. It is one of the most common Catalan surnames, ranked 36th in Catalonia.[4] The surname Ferrer is a variant of the surnames Farrar,[1] Ferrier, Ferrers, and de Ferrers.

The English name is originally Norman,[citation needed], deriving, in this instance, from the place name Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire, Walchelin de Ferriers having come to England with William the Conqueror. In the Middle Ages, the Ferrer family held the earldom of Derby; although the main line died out, some descendants in England and Scotland still bear the name Ferrer, while many emigrated to i.a. Spain - e.g. the Scottish-English nobleman William Stewart Ferrer,[5][6] father of Saint Vincent Ferrer. Also Bernard Ferrer, an English Knight, and Auchias Ferrer, a Scottish Lord, came from Britain to Spain - to aid in the restoration of Christian rule in Valencia.[2]


Map of Great Britain showing the distribution of the surname in 1881. The map is divided into postal areas of the United Kingdom.
Map of Great Britain showing the distribution of the surname in 1998. The map is divided into postal areas of the United Kingdom.

Great Britain[edit]

Statistically it is a very uncommon surname in Great Britain. In the 1881 census there are 83 Ferrers recorded, with an average of 3 occurrences per million surnames. Also in 1881 it was ranked as the 19,011th most common surname. In the 1996 electoral register 185 Ferrers were recorded, with an average of 5 occurrences per million surnames, while it was ranked as the 17,724th most common surname.[7] Distribution: in 1881 the Northampton postal area had the highest rate of occurrences of Ferrer per million surnames. By 1998 the highest postal area per million was East Central London.[7]

Ethnicity of forenames of people bearing the surname Ferrer in Great Britain[edit]

Ethnicity of forenames  % of occurrences in Great Britain
British, or Unknown origin 77.87
-- English, or Unknown origin 76.28
-- Irish 0.79
-- Scottish 0.40
-- Welsh 0.40
French 1.19
German or Dutch 0.79
Spanish 14.23
Italian 3.95
Black African 0.79
Other Muslim 0.40
Indian 0.40
-- Hindi 0.40
East Asian 0.40

Source: National Trust Names website.[7]


In 2002 Northern Territory was the state or territory with the highest rate of the surname per million people, with a rate of 681% of the Australian average.[7]


According to IDESCAT, the Institute of Statistics of Catalonia, there were 15,850 persons with Ferrer as a first surname as of 1 January 2007, out of a population of 7,204,000, which means 0,22% of the population. This makes Ferrer the 35th most common surname in Catalonia.[8]

New Zealand[edit]

In 2002 Canterbury was the region with the highest rate of the surname per million people, with a rate of 434% of the national average.[7]

United States of America[edit]

In 1990 Florida was the state with the highest rate of the surname per million people, with a rate of 414% of the national average.[7]

Comparison between Great Britain and the World (per million occurrences of the surname)[edit]

International Comparisons Rate Rate as %
Great Britain (1998) 5 100
Great Britain (1881) 3
Australia 19.90 349.8
Canada 24.20 425.4
New Zealand 3.94 69.2
United States of America 42.75 751.4

Source: National Trust Names website.[7]


The first recorded surname of Ferrer in the Philippines dates back to 1824, in Pangasinan, the birth of Jose Padilla Ferrer. He belongs to the eleventh generation of the Ferrer Family. He was the son of Aniceto Ferrer to whom he had named one of his sons after. His mother was Josefa Padilla. He was probably a mestizo of Spanish origin which came from the English origin, given the fact that he was born during the Spanish period. He was a butcher who had as many as 50 heads of cattle, and was also a jeweler, and he was later known as "Don Jose ," a title of nobility. Jose Padilla Ferrer's descendants number over 600. Through 8 of his 15 children, he has 55 grandchildren, 228 great -grandchildren, 264 great-great-grandchildren,and 48 great-great-great-grandchildren (as recorded by the Ferrer clan in 1995).[9]