This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. The first and the most likely is that the modern surname is from an occupational name for a guard or watchman. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "weard", a watchman; the form "Gardur" (see below) being derived from the Old French "garde", to watch, guard. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The second possible source is topographical, and is a type of surname usually found in the counties of Kent, Essex and Hertfordshire, where "-er" is added to the name of some topographical feature to denote residence by such a place, for example "bridger". In this instance, Warder would mean "one who lives by the marsh", from the Middle English "ward", marsh. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Elizabeth Warder married John Fisher on July 5th 1670, in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Gardur, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", 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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