This ancient surname probably describes a long lost occupation, that of making teasel brushes for use by a fuller to finish fine cloth. The origination is from the pre 8th Century Anglo-Saxon "ahana", a word which describes a stiff bristle found in a number of flowers and cereals. The "modern" surname is popular in Cornwall, although the first Church recordings (see below) are 17th Century, whilst it is found nearly one hundred years earlier in London. There is a body of informed opinion that some nameholders may derive from the early religious job-descriptive name "Almoner", which by the 13th Century was recorded as "Aumoner", and then Amner. A transposition to An(n)e(a)r would not have been difficult. John le Aumoner was recorded in London in 1272, whilst Peter Aumener was rector of Mileham, Norfolk, in 1427. The Middle English "An(n)ear" recordings include: Agnes Awner, who was christened at the Church of St. James' Garlickhithe, London, on August 6th 1575, and Christopherus Anneare, the son of Ctopheri and Honore Annear, christened at Truro, Cornwall, on February 14th 1629. Elizabeth Anear, the daughter of William (wife unknown), was christened at Probus, Cornwall, on March 7th 1696. This village is an epicentre of the name. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roberte Anner, which was dated July 1st 1567, marriage to Anne Smith, at St. Olave's, Hart Street, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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