This is a rare English locational surname. It is belived to have originated from a now 'lost' medieval hamlet possibly called 'Wer-hyrst' or similar, and meaning the weir by the wood. It was thought that possibly this place was in the county of Sussex and that may be so, as the first known recording of the surname in church registers would seem to be that of Thomas Warhurst of Rotherfield in Sussex, on April 4th 1658. However locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people as easy indentification, after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. This could be the next village or the next town, but just as easily could be a hundred miles away. In this case the surname is well recorded in the diocese of Greater London from much the same period The first example in a slightly transposed spelling, being that of Elizabeth Wherhurst, who married Giles Bartlett at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on April 2nd 1683, whilst on July 10th 1757 Ann Warhurst, the daughter of Caleb Warhurst, was christened at St Andrews, Holborn. Other interesting recordings showing how local dialects and poor spelling effect a surname, are those of Mary Warehouse of Mersham in Kent in 1770, and Walter Warhost of Portsmouth as recently as1873.
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