This most interesting surname has two possible derivations. Firstly, it may be of Old German origin, derived from an Old Germanic personal name composed of the elements "war(in)", guard and "heri, hari", army; this was adopted by the Normans, who introduced it into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Secondly, the surname may be a contracted form of "Warrener", a topographical name for someone who lived by a gamepark; or an occupational name for someone employed in one. Warrener is derived from the Anglo-Norman-French "warrene", warren, a piece of land for breeding game, especially small animals and birds. Recordings of the personal name include Warnerus de Lusoriis, mentioned in the Eynsham Cartulary, Oxford in 1140; and Warner, Garner de Waxtunesham, recorded in 1160 in Lincolnshire. Early examples of the surname include Geoffrey Warner, who appears in the 1203 Curia Rolls of Surrey, and Peter le Warner, recorded in 1214 in the Curia Rolls of Yorkshire. Sir Edward Warner (1511 - 1565) was Lieutenant of the Tower of London; while Sir Thomas Warner (died 1649) conceived the idea of a West Indian settlement and founded a colony at St. Kitts in the Barbadoes. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Warnier, which was dated 1196, in the "Pipe Rolls of Dorset", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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