The surname of WARN was a locational name 'of Warne' in County Devon. The name was first recorded in 1194 as WAGEFEN, and literally meant the dweller at the fen or marshy land. Local names usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held his land, and where he actually lived. Other records of the name mention Jervase de Werne who was recorded in County Somerset in the year 1273. Gervase de Werne was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Later instances of the name include Edward Warne of County Gloucestershire who registered at Oxford University in 1607. Robert Browne married Mary Warnes in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1661. Baptised. John, son of Stephen Warnes at St. Columb Major, Cornwall in 1707. Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared) and Edward I was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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