This very unusual and interesting name is of Old English, or possibly Ancient British origin. It derives from the compound "Unraed" which translates as "evil counsel" plus "folly", a meaning which perhaps explains the rarity of the surname. Applying modern translations to pre-medieval personal names is always hazardous and the literal meaning may be quite different amongst the more uncommon aspects of this name is the earliest recording in Ireland, although there does not appear to be any subsequent record even in variant spellings in Ireland. Perhaps surprisingly for a pure "English" name, it is also recorded both in France and Belgium, but all the early records are for England. These include Alredus Vnred in the 1230, Pipe Rolls of Norfolk and John Onrett in the Hundred Rolls of Kent for 1279, A.D. whilst Sir John Ughtred (also known as outrede) of Yorkshireappears in the Rolls of Edward 11, 1307 - 1327. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Unred, which was dated circa 1200, The Members Roll of Dublin, during the reign of King John known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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