This originally Norman surname of WARNER was derived from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements WARIN (guard) and HERI (meaning army). The name was introduced into England during the wake of the Norman invasion of 1066. The name has been anglicized to Warner, and has two distinct origins, it was a baptismal name 'the son of Warrener' and an occupational name meaning the keeper of the 'warren' a place privileged for the keeping of conies, hares, partridges and pheasants. Early records of the name mention WARNERUS Avunculus Radulfi who was documented in the year 1273 in County Yorkshire. Henricus WARNER of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Later instances of the name include Richard, son of Ricardus WARINOR, who was baptised in County Wiltshire in the year 1572. Sir Edward WARNER (1511-1565 was Lieutenant of the Tower of London. John WARRENNER was baptised at Kensington Parish Church, London in 1621. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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