Last name: Parr

This interesting and unusual name has three possible sources. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and locational from Parr in Lancashire, recorded as "Par" in the Assize Court Rolls of 1246, coming from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "pearr", enclosure; hence, "dweller at the enclosure". The name may also be from the Middle Low German "parre", parish, district, perhaps a nickname for a foundling. Finally, the name may be the Anglicized version of the Old French personal name "Perre" or "Pierre", Peter. The surname itself first appears in the late 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Margeria Perre, who was recorded in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk; Henry de Par, who was mentioned in 1284, in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire; and Richard del Par, who was listed in the Letter Books of London in 1356. The spelling Parre emerged, circa 1500. Baines History of Lancashire records a Brian Parre, who died in 1529. Catherine Parr (1512 - 1548), sixth wife of Henry V111, whom she was forced to marry on July 12th 1543, sprung from the "Parrs of Lancashire". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Perre, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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