This intriguing surname is of Medieval English and Scottish origin and is locational from the place so called in Scotland, and the river in Lancashire. The derivation of Yarrow, in Selkirk, Scotland is from the Gaelic "garbh", rough and is recorded circa 1120 as "Gierua". However, the river Yarrow is a derivation either from the Welsh "garw", meaning rough, or the Welsh "ariant", silver, both presumably, descriptive. During the Middle Ages it became common for those migrating from their birth place to seek work elsewhere, to adopt their village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in the wide dispersal of the name. Amongst the example names recorded is one, John Yarrow who married Susanna Merredith in 1766 at St. George's, Hanover Square, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sarah Yarrowe, which was dated circa 1573, St. Dionis Church, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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