Last name: Whorlow

This is an English surname of medieval origins. There are three possible origins for this unusual surname which is recorded in spellings as varied as Whorlow, Warrilow, Warlow, Warlowe, Werrilow, Warlaw and Warlawe. The first is locational from either a now 'lost' ancient British (Welsh) site which translates as "The look out hill" from the pre 7th century word weard, meaning to watch, and hlaw, a hill, or from the village of Wardlow in Derbyshire which has the same translation. The second possible origin is occupational, and a corruption of the French phrase "Ward-de-Robe", and as such describing a keeper of a high nobles chamber, and an office of considerable rank in ancient times. In this respect the modern surname cpould also be locational for one who lived at "The Wardrobe", once an area of the city of London near to the Tower of London. Early examples of the surname recoring taken from surviving church registers of the the city of London include William Warlaw baptised at St. Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on November 12th 1651, and Martha Warrillow christened at St. Botolphs without Aldgate, London on February 1st. Another early recording is that of Joane Warlowe. This was dated January 15th 1576, when she married Robert Gryffine at St. Giles Cripplegate, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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