Recorded in many forms including the English Warner, the German Werner and Wernher, and the French Garnier and Guernier, this most interesting surname has two possible derivations. Firstly, it may be of Old German origin, derived from a personal name composed of the elements "warin", meaning guard and "heri or hari", an army. This name was 'adopted' by the Norman-French, who introduced it into England after the 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. This is from the French word "warrene", meaning 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 de Waxtunesham, recorded in 1160 in Lincolnshire. Early examples of the surname taken from surviving early German records include: Freidrich Werner of Ingelheim in the year 1268, and Cunrat Werner of Hattstat in 1272. 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. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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