The surname of VARNADORE was an official name 'the baron'. The term was anciently applied to freemen of the cities of London and York who were homagers of the King, and also to the freemen of the Cinque Ports, who had the feudal service of bearing the canopy over the head of the sovereign on the day of coronation. The name was derived from the Old English word 'barun'. The name was also used as a nickname for 'one who put on an air of dignity, such as might become a baron'. The name has travelled widely in many forms which include BAROUX (France), BARONIO, VARONE and VARUNE (Italy). Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. Early records of the name mention Osbert le Barun, 1273 County Devon. Geoffrey de Barun, of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Married John Baron and Elizabeth Mathew, in London 1545. This is an old surname in Angus, Scotland. Between 1400-1500 the name appears there as BARON, BAROUN, BARRONE, and BERROUN. The name here probably originated from the small baronies attached to the Abbey of Coupar-Angus. Thus the tenant of the barony of Glenisla, became Robert Barrone, tenant of Glennylay in 1508, and so throughout all the baronies belonging to the abbey. The name was also common in Edinburgh in the 15th and 16th centuries. Patrick Baroun was a juror on an inquest in Edinburgh in 1428. A later Patrick Barone was the burgess of Edinburgh, and had a grant of land in 1477. Andrew Baron was present in Parliament in 1534 as depute constable.
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