SDB Popularity Ranking: 9203

Last name: Varty

SDB Popularity ranking: 9203

This unusual name, found as either Verity, Varty, or Vardy, and in several other spellings as well, has its origins either in a medieval nickname, or a baptismal name of endearment, or perhaps an actor in a travelling theatre. The derivation is from the Middle French word 'verite', meaning 'truth', itself originally from the Roman (Latin) word 'veritas'. However the introduction into Britain was probably by either the Normans after 1066, or perhaps the later 12th century 'Crusaders', as there does not appear to be any recordings of the use of the word before those times. Creating a surname from a nickname was a common medieval practice, almost a national sport, and rather cruelly it often meant the reverse (!). Surprisingly to 20th century sensibilities, these sometimes extremely robust 'Chaucerian' attitudes do not appear to have upset our predecessors, although most, if not all of the really obscene names disappeared with the 17th century Puritans. An early example of the surname recordings was that of William Verty in the 1379 Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire, whilst on February 6th 1598, John Verdue married Agnes Byrd at the church of St Gregory's by St Pauls, London. Other examples were those of William Varty who was married at All Saints, Newcastle Upon Tyne, on April 16th 1640, and Jane Varty who was married on July 1st 1679 to Thomas Scott, of Ainstable, Cumberland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam le Verite. which was dated 1275, Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire. during the reign of King Edward I, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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