This is an Olde English pre 7th Century topographical name recorded in the spellings of Gare and Gair, and for which there are several possible origins and meanings. The most usual is topographical and describes a dweller by the fish trap known as a gar, although strictly speaking a gar was a breed of fish, being a small pike, Other explanations for a gar are also residential and can describe a dweller by a hill fort, earthwork or even a triangular shaped piece of land. A further variant is as a nickname from the Medieval English "Gere", meaning a wild violent and passionate person as in Joscelyn Gere of Suffolk, c.1185. The name development also includes Henry Garr who was recorded at St. Dunstans in the East London in 1570, Margaret Garre,1643, at All Saints, Newcastle Upon Tyne and John Garr who married Mary Widdall at Edlingham, Northumberland in 1668. Henry Gair was christened at St Dunstans, Stepney, on October 21st 1599. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de la Gare, which was dated 1181, in the "Pipe Rolls of County Kent", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Church Builder", 1154 - 1189. 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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