Recorded in over forty spellings ranging from Warr, Warre, and Warrior (England) to de Guerre, Guerre, Guierre, Laguerre (France) Deguerra, Guerra, Guerrero, Guerreiro (Spain & Portugal) Deguara, Guerra, and Guerri (Italy) and Guerreau (Sicily), this is a surname is of Old German pre 5th century origins. It derives from the word 'guerre' meaning war and as such was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The subsequent surname everywhere in Europe is one of a group that were gradually developed from the habitual use of a nickname. Nicknames were given for a variety of reasons including personal appearance, physical peculiarities, or mental or moral characteristics. In the case of this surname the original nickname was given either to a soldier or a belligerent person, or given the robust sense of humour of the medieval period, the reverse! The first of all surname recordings are to be found in England and these include John la Werre of Gloucester in 1187, and George Warre of Lincoln in 1468. Later recordings taken from authentic civil and church registers Willian Warr, aged nineteen, who left London bound for Virginia, USA, on November 20th 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is that of Herebertus la Guerre. This was dated 1179, in the pipe rolls of the county of Dorset, England, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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