Recorded in several spelling forms including: Nazar, Nazair, Nazer, and the diminutives Nazereth and Nazeret, this unusual and interesting surname is of French origins. When recorded in England it is usually an example of a Huguenot immigrant or refugee surname, and often 18th century. It is of locational origins, and derives from former residence not in the Holy Land, but at one of the various places in France named after the 5th century Saint Nazareus, the most prominent being the town of St. Nazaire, in the department of Loire-Inferieure. The origination of the name is from the Roman (Latin) Nazareus, itself a development of the early Hebrew "natserat", meaning "to guard", and as such was given to early Christians to signify "guardians of the faith". The surname has been recorded both in France and England. Early examples include: Dominique Nazer, at the city of Le Mans, on October 15th 1666, Albain Nazareth, and his wife the former Anne Marie Pierson, whose daughter Odille was christened at the town of Montherne in the Ardennes on March 8th 1767, and Jean Claude Nazaret, who married Josephine Quichon at St Nizier-le-Desert, department of Ain, on September 7th 1871. The spelling as Nazer may have been first recorded in England as Nisser in 1759; and would seem to derive from Daniel and Maria Nazer, whose origins are not known, but who are believed to have had eight children. Their first daughter Elizabeth Nazer, being christened at the church of St. Mary, The Virgin, in Dover, Kent, in 1818. 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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