Recorded as Yarn, Yarne, Yearn, Yearne, Yearnes, Yearns, and possibly others, this is a surname of Olde English pre 7th century origins. It derives from "Arn" a personal name of great antiquity and translates as eagle, a meaning which no doubt contibuted to its early popularity. Arn or Arne, are surnames in their own right as well as being a short form of Arnold or a patronymic as in Arnison. Yarn or Yearn is dialectal and probably originally from the West County, although this is not proven. Arguably this is a pagan name, and certainly it is one of the quite rare survivors of firstly the Norman Coquest of 1066 when it became policitically correct to use French names, and then later when this was followed by the even more devastating period of the Crusades in the 12th century.This was also a time known as the Christian revival, when it became even more persuasive to use Biblical and Greek names. As such the good old English and Saxon names came to be replaced by names of somewhat quasi origin, except in the more remote regions of England. In this case the first recording is that of Alice Arn of Cambridgeshire in the Hundred Rolls of Landowners of that county in 1273. Later we have an Elizabethan recording in the city of London of one Thomas Yearn at the church of St Mary's Whitechapel, Stepney, on June 30th 1594, and a century later that of Hannah Yearne at St Mary Woolnoth, on June 6th 1703, when she married Edward Harris.
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