This interesting surname, of English origin with variant spellings Warbrack, Warbrick and Warbrack, is a locational name from a place called Warbreck in Lancashire, deriving from the Old Scandinavian "varthi", meaning "beacon", plus the Old Norse "brekka", hill; hence, "beacon hill". The placename is recorded as "Wardebrecca" in the Early Lancashire Charters of 1147, and as "Warthebrek" in the Lancashire Inquests of 1324. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname dates back to the mid 16th Century (see below), and further recordings include: John Warbrecke, who married Joan Hull on July 31st 1598, at Poulton le Fylde, Lancashire; Thomas Warbrack, who married Alice Oakley on July 26th 1650, at St. Botolph's, London; Robert Warbrick, of Goosnargh, who was recorded in the Lancashire Wills at Richmond in 1660; and Jane, daughter of William and Sarah Warbrick, who was christened on July 26th 1815, at Weld Chapel, Southgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jenet Warbreck, which was dated 1566, marriage to Thome Fedeston, at Kirkham Hull, Lancashire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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