Recorded as Quare, Quarrie and Quarry, there are three possible origins for this interesting surname. The first is Manx, from the Isle of Man, and a development of the Gaelic MacGuaire, an Old Gaelic personal name "Gaurio", which is akin to the Greek "gauros", both having the identical meaning of noble, or proud. In Scotland and Ireland the name when found nearly always has the prefix "Mac", although in the Isle of Man this is omitted. The second possibility is that it is a Norman French nickname for a thickset, or portly man and derives from the word "quare", meaning square-shaped, and thirdly it can be an English topographical name for someone who lived near a stone quarry or a metonymic occupational name for one who worked in one. This is from the word "quarey", meaning dressed stone. Examples of recordings include Andrew Quare who married Alice Eaton at the church of St Lawrence Jewry in the city of London, on September 29th 1560, and much later that of Walter Quarrie who married Martha Bell, on January 16th 1878, St. Thomas's church, Douglas, in the Isle of Man, . The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de la Quarrere. This was dated 1279, in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward Ist of England, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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