The search for the parents of Jeffrey Ferris (c.1610-1666) has been fruitless for several centuries. Birth, baptismal, marriage or other records of his early existence in England have not been found. Only cryptic clues were left by Reverend E. B. Huntngton in his 1868 book the History of Stamford, Connecticut. Those limited clues were that the Ferris name came from Leicestershire, that it is derived from Gualchelme and Henry de Feriers, that Henry de Feriers received large grants of land from William the Conqueror and that "tradition" says Jeffrey's wife was "high born."
Because finding a link to Jeffrey Ferris' father has proven impossible thus far, I traced the descendants of Henry de Feriers and the history of those descendants to see if any clues could be found. First, I discovered evidence that the "de Feriers" surname did indeed evolve over the centuries to Ferris. Second, I discovered that the "de Feriers" actually began their history in England in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, not Leicestershire, and many "de Feriers" descendants migrated to various other shires throughout England. Third, I discovered that many likely ancestors (or at least relatives) of Jeffery Ferris played substantial roles at key moments in English history. Finally, I analyzed all of the evidence I could find about the assertion that Jeffrey's father was Richard Ferris and that his mother was Mary Anne Howard.
The PDF memo linked below discusses and analyzes my discoveries in more depth. And, it relates some significant and interesting stories about the "de Feriers" (Ferris) family. (A couple of the stories were included just for fun because they related to familiar tales which will be recognizable.)
The GEDCOM file for Henry de Feriers' descendants is also linked below. Because the "de Feriers" were members of the nobility, you will see they married into other noble families, including descendants of English Kings.
The Origins of Jeffrey Ferris (about 1610-1666) and Some Ferrers Family Stories
See GEDCOM file by clicking here.
Included in the memo (revised 14 September 2016) are:
(1) an analysis of the evolution of the Ferris surname from "de Ferrières" to "de Ferrers," "Ferrers" and "Ferris;"
(2) a history of the de Ferrers family residences (including maps) and their migrations from Duffield and Tutbury Castles in Derbyshire to Higham Ferrers in Northamptonshire, Chartley Castle in Staffordshire, Loxley Hall in Staffordshire, Bere Ferrers in Devonshire, Groby Hall in Leicestershire, Tamworth Castle in Staffordshire, Baddesley Clinton in Warwickshire, Saint Albans in Hertfordshire and London;
(3) an analysis of purported or possible fathers of Jeffrey Ferris, such as Richard Ferris;
(4) an analysis of the purported first wife of Jeffrey Ferris, Mary Anne Howard;
(5) historical stories about the de Ferrers family ancestors;
(6) Ferrers ancestry pedigree charts; and
(7) a list of Ferrises and Ferrers (and possible derivative names) baptized in England between 1480 and 1635.
(Image below) Descendant tree: Male Descendants of Robert de Ferrariis (1090-1163; grandson of Henri de Ferrières (1036-1088)) to Isabel de Verdun (1315-1349)
(Image below) Descendant tree: Male Descendants of William Ferrers (1332-1371) to the era of Jeffrey Ferris, about 1635