This unusual name has two possible origins. The first is old French and a Norman introduction after 1066, it derives from "Guyour", meaning a Scout or guide, a very necessary occupation in a land of no maps and hardly any recognizable roads before Elizabethan times. The second is as a variant of the Welsh "Gwyn", meaning one who is very fair, possibly an early nickname by the Celts (old British) for the Anglo-Saxon and Viking invaders. The name variants include Gwer and Gwore, whilst the recordings include James Gwyer, christened at St. Olave's, Southwark in 1753, and Charles Gwyer, married at the same church on August 27th 1783 to one Jane Winepress. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Gwyer, which was dated March Ist, 1582, a witness at St. Margaret's church, Westminster, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, "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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