This unusual and interesting surname is of Old French origins, and was probably introduced (as a word or baptismal name) into England after the 1066 Norman Invasion. The later surname development is from the 12th century Ancient French 'verite' meaning 'truth' and seemingly was either a nickname, ostensibly for a truthful person , or perhaps for an actor in a travelling mystery play, one who habitually played the part of 'Truth', this being a prominent role. 13th century humour and attitudes were so different from the 20th century as to make comparisons almost impossible, and it is possible that the original meaning of the name as a nickname was the reverse of 'Verite'! What is certain is that the surname dates back to the late 13th Century, and enjoyed a considerable popularity, whatever the interpretation. Early recordings include Richard le Verite (1296) in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, and Thomas Verty (1379) in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire. Later church recordings include the christening of John, the son of John and Jane Verrity on March 5th 1664 at the famous St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney, and the marriage of Elizabeth Verity to George Ainsworth on September 7th 1690 at St James Church, Dukes Place, London. Further examples are those of Christopher Verity who married Ann Clarke at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, on June 1st 1745, in the year of 'Bonnie Prince Charlie', whilst Edward Verity, aged 20 yrs., was a famine emigrant, who sailed from Liverpool aboard the ship 'Yorkshire' on November 19th 1846, bound for New York. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam le Verite, which was dated 1275, in the 'Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire', during the reign of King Edward 1, 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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