This interesting surname is of English locational origin from either Wearne in Somerset or Warne in Marytavy, Devonshire. Wearne is recorded as "Warne" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and was originally the name of the stream of the place. The name means "alder stream" and is derived from the British (the extinct Celtic language of the ancient Britans) "verno" or the Welsh "gwern" meaning alders. Warne is recorded as "Wagefen" in the 1194 Pipe Rolls of Devonshire and is composed of the Old English pre 7th Century elements "wagen" meaning quaking plus "fen" a fen or marsh; hence "quaking fen".The surname is first found in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). One, John Warne, appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Wiltshire (1524). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Warne, Warn, Warnes, Wearne, etc.. On September 29th 1741, William Wearn married Anne Ellis in London. The marriage of William Wearn and Mary Cambell took place on November 15th 1778, at St. Leonards Shoreditch, London. William, son of William and Mary Wearn was christened on June 15th 1783, at St. Michael Paternoster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Werne, which was dated 1273, Hundred Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 1, "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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