This page has been established to facilitate sharing of information on research into the FARMER/FERMOR families in Rotherfield c1500-1650.

Grant of land by Adam Fermer, yeoman of Rotherfield, to Robert Fermer and John Staple, 20 January 1547. (ESRO: DYK 377)

My interest stems from the marriage of John Nynne [alias Barber] to Alice FARMER in 1554 at Rotherfield. Research has suggested that the Barber alias Nynnes and some of the FARMER families were a close extended family, and researching the FARMERs has been most rewarding in revealing these connections and for explaining certain events.

There were a number of FARMER/FERMOR families in Rotherfield c1500-1600 and it is a difficult task to organise them into family trees. The families commonly associated with the FERMOR variant of the name generally descend from the family that owned Walsh manor in Rotherfield. By the 1600s that branch had standardised the name to FERMOR. This line (and its early origins) is documented in Catherine Pullein's book (published 1928) and their tree shown below has mostly been taken from her work.

The remaining FARMER lines are of great interest. In particular, the families of John FERMOR (died c1559) and Thomas FARMER of Merke (Mark Cross) (died 1590) both appear to be kin of the Barber alias Nynne family according to various wills and manorial court records. This web site has commissioned the transcription of most of the Rotherfield FERMOR/FARMER wills from the 1500-1600 period and these are in the process of being made available to members of the Sussex Family History Group via their Wills Depository. The wills can also be accessed below:

This page will be a work in progress and consequently there may be changes to the family tree structures as new information becomes available. Where family tree connections are speculative the reasons will be explained in the details for that person. Helpful feedback or disagreement delivered in a friendly manner is encouraged. Any contributions will be acknowledged.

The following Descendant Charts present most of my information for the Farmer/Fermor families. Once inside the charts, double-click on individuals to read more information.


The first is a descendants chart of the FERMORs of Walsh/Walshes manor in Rotherfield based mainly on the work of Catherine Pullein. The surnames have been standardised to FERMOR although in the church registers in the early 1500s the name is spelt a variety of ways: FARMER/FERMER/FARMOR/FERMOR etc. The chart extends through to Sir Henry FERMOR, the well known Rotherfield identity after whom a school is named today. Further work is needed to complete the tree up to that point.

Next is a descendants chart of Thomas FARMER who left a will made in 1529. This chart has been the focus of work done to date. Thomas had quite a few children who appear to have been reasonably prosperous judging by the land transactions in the manorial court records. Thomas is considered by Pullein to have a family connection to William FERMOR sometime back in the 1400s. It is possible that the Alice FARMER who married into the Barber alias Nynne family in 1554 comes from this line if she was indeed a sister to John FERMOR as suggested by her children being beneficiaries in his will of 1558 and if it is assumed that John FERMOR was a grandson of Thomas (see details for John FERMOR for some justification for this).

The third is another Thomas FARMER who left a will made in 1558 and is the father of Daniel FARMER who died and left a will in 1621. It is not clear where he fits in to the earlier FARMER families. The will of Daniel FARMER shows that one branch of this family had moved to Herstmonceux.

The fourth is a speculative descendants chart of Edward FARMER which includes his possible son George FARMER who died 1558/59 and his descendants. George's admon and information in the manorial court records have enabled a potential family line to be constructed.

The fifth is a descendants chart of Adam FARMER, a weaver, who left a will made in 1587. The will has enabled a family to be constructed but it is not yet connected to a larger tree.

Lastly, this is yet another Thomas FARMER family having children between 1540-1560 and so far this Thomas FARMER is unplaced in a family tree. All the children baptised or buried as either the son or daughter of a Thomas and so far unplaced in trees are listed here - they do not all belong to this family! They are kept here as a parking place so they can be sorted out as information comes to hand.