This very interesting medieval English surname can be either a nickname or an occupational surname. If the former it is a development of the pre 7th century Olde English word "quarre" meaning a person with chiselled or stony features, or if the latter it describes a quarry worker, one who worked extrating stone. Surnames from nicknames form one of the largest grouping in the European surnames listing,. As such it may have literally described in this case a person with stony features, but given the sardonic nature of most nicknames may well have been in the absolute reverse. early examples of the surname recording include Alice le Quarye, in the Pipe Rolls ofthe county of Sussex in 1296,. She waa ctually described as being known as Alice, the widow of the Stout one!, whilst other examples of the surname development include William ate Quarere also in Sussex in 1332, and seemingly describing a pewrson who lived by a quarry, and Thomas Quarry of Suffolk in the Hearth Tax register of 1524. One of the earlies settlers in the West Indian was Jamees Quarrer, as spelt who was buried at St. Georges parish, in Barbadoes on 14th September 1679. 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 Richard II, Richard of Bordeaux, 1378 - 1400. 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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