This interesting and unusual surname may have derived from any of three possible origins. Firstly it may be a shortened form of the medieval personal name "Fleuri", from the Latin "Florius", from "flos", flower. From this source also, the name may have been a nickname, from the Medieval English "flo(u)r", flower. Secondly, the name may have originated as a metonymic occupational name for a miller or flour merchant from "flor", flour. Finally it may have come from the Old English "fla" and the Medieval English "flo", an arrow, plus the agent suffix "-er", hence the name may have been an occupational name for an arrowsmith. The London Church Registers first record the name on April 27th 1606, when one William Fleere married Elizabeth Walters at St. James, Clerkenwell. Zachrey (see below), Dorathy, Edward and Elizabeth, children of Zachre Fleare, were christened at Newark Upon Trent, Nottinghamshire on March 25th 1606; May 28th 1609; July 14th 1610; and January 18th 1611, respectively. One William Flare married Ann Staples at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London on September 4th 1642, while Peter Fleure married Rachel Leheup also at St. Dunstans on August 20th 1699. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Zachrey Fleare, which was dated March 25th 1606, christening witness at Newark Upon Trent, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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