This ancient name is both locational and job descriptive. It derives from the Olde English "wer" and means "one who dwells by or works at the Fish trap". There are many variant spellings of the name, the Scottish versions are usually found as Weir or Wier, although it is claimed that they are of Norman descent from various places called "vere", although the meaning is the same. Ralph de Ver of Scotland being recorded in 1194. The other variant spellings include Abraham Weare (1622, London City), Agnes Ware (1572, Westminster), Abraham Where (1679, St. Giles Cripplegate, London), Anne Whare (1777, St. Botolphs, London), Dougal Wair (1770, St. Botolphs, London) and Elizabeth Whear (1748, Shoreham, Kent). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de la Were, which was dated 1242, witness at the Fines Court of Herefordshire, during the reign of King Henry III, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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