FARDEN, Farding

Suggested Meaning: farthing-land
G. fairdin ‘farthing’ ,
S. farden, fardin ‘farthing’
Blaeu Coila (1654):Fairding
OS Name Books (1855-57):Farding
Location:Ordnance Survey (1893-1960)
Earlier forms
Fardin (1520), Fardinge (1523), Ferding (1535), Farding (1549), Fairding (1654, Blaeu), Farden (1671, wills), Fardine (1684), Farden (1797/98, farm tax roll)
Farden road-en’ (Photo Robert Guthrie)

Farden, as it’s known today, is one of three farthing place-names in the parish of New Cumnock, the other two being Blackfarding and Fardenreoch. All three are references to a farthing unit of land-measure.

Map 1 Fairding | Reproduced with the permission of The National Library of Scotland

The Ordnance Survey Name Book (1855-57) entry for the property is under that of Farding, however the form Farden is also recorded in the entry. The entry also quotes from John Jamieson’s ‘Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language’ – “Farding – a farthing“.

Map 2 Farding | Reproduced with the permission of the Natonal Library of Scotland

The challenge is to determine if the origin of the name is Gaelic fairdin [1] or Scots farding [2]. With the other two farthing farms, it is straighforward.

  • Blackfarding has an Scots 1st element and is therefore likely to be followed with a Scots 2nd element farding.
  • Fardenreoch has a Gaelic 2nd element riabhach and thereby a Gaelic 1st element fairdin.

With Farding, Farden being a simplex form of the name, i.e. it does not have 1st of 2nd element, to help decide if the name of Gaelic or Scots. Furthermore the variants of Scots farding include fardyng, fardin, fardine, farden, farden and fardein many of which resemble the Galeic fairdin.

It is worth noting that the few variants of Blackfarding all have the elements ending -ing farding while those of Farden and Fardenreoch also have variants ending -ing but also have a number ending -en, -in. So perhaps like Fardenreoch, Farden is Gaelic fairdin? Perhaps too, the reason for including the second element in Fardenreoch was to differentiate it from an existing farm called Farden nearby?

Map 3 Farden | Reproduced with the permission with The National Library of Scotland



[1] Malcolm MacLennan, Gaelic Dictionary | fairdin
[2] Dictionary of Scots Language | farding
Reproduced with the Permission of the National Library of Scotland
Map 1 | Blaeu Coila Provincia (1645) | Fairdin
Map 2 | Ordnance Survey (1885-1903) |Farding
Map 3 | Ordnance Survey (1893-1860) | Farden
Ordnance Survey Name Books & Farm Horse Tax Rolls
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Farding
Farm Horse Tax Rolls (1797-98) | Farden
Scotland’s People
Old Parish Records, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Census Records, Valuations Rolls, Wills & Testaments
Fardin (1520)Protocol Book of Gavin Ros, Vol. 1, (May 1512-Dec 1524), No. 450
Fardinge (1523)Protocol Book of Gavin Ros, Vol. 1, (May 1512-Dec 1524), No. 659
Ferding (1535),Registrum Secreti Sigilli Regum Scotorum Vol. 2 (1529-1542), 1681
Farding (1549)Register of the Great Seal of Scotland Vol. 4, (1546-1580) No. 327
Fairding (1654)Blaeu Atlas of Scotland (1654) Coila Provincia, [or], The province of Kyle / auct. Timoth. Pont.  
Farden (1671)1671 Logane, James (Wills and testament Reference CC9/7/38 Glagow Commissary Court
Fardine (1684)Interrogations of parishioners | James Logan;
Henry Paton (Editor), The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, Third Series, Vol IX, A.D. 1684, P.543-547
Farden (1797/98, farm tax roll)Farm Horse Tax Rolls 1797-97, Vol 07, E326/10/7/236, Farden
Farding, Farden (1855/57)Ayrshire OS Name Books 1855-57, Ayrshire Volume 49, OS1/3/49/47, Farding

Instrument narrating that George Craufurd, son of George Craufurd of Laffinoris, as bailie, in terms of a precept by the elder George, passed to the lands of Fardin, and there at the principal mansion gave sasine of the two merklands of Fardin in the barony of Cumnok, sheriffdom of Are, according to a charter to be made there upon to William Rede, son and heir of the late (Andrew) Rede. Done 30th January 1520. Witnesses, Andrew Campbell, Andrew Blak, JohnDargan and Thomas M‘Nacht,

Protocol Book of Gavin Ros, Vol. 1, (May 1512-Dec 1524), No. 450