An English surname, Farley comes from the Old English terms ‘fearn’ and ‘leah’ which refer to a fern-covered clearing. The spelling variations for Farley are Farleigh, Fairley and Fairlie. In England the Farley family name started in the Somerset region in the southwest section of the country. In Scotland the counties with the higher populations of Farley families include Aberdeenshire, Fife, Midlothian, Lanarkshire, Stirlingshire and Kincardineshire. Within the United States the early Farley families settled in Virginia, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana. Famous: John H. Farley (Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio), Walter farley (author), Chris Farley (comic and actor), David Farley (journalist), John P. Farley (actor), Terri Farley (author), Kevin Farley (actor), Ian B. Farley (animator and artist) and Patrick Sean Farley (illustrator).