This very interesting surname has three possible origins. The first and most usual, being a locational from a place in France called Fay, meaning 'beech tree'. The name is a slightly later introduction after 1066, it being recorded in the following century. A secondary claim is that the name was a nickname for a person thought to have supernatural qualities, again Olde French, but this time from 'fae' meaning an 'elf or fairy'! We think that more logically when this occurred the development was from a 'role name' i.e. somebody who played the part of a fairy in the medieval travelling theatres...
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