The surname of GARREN is of two fold origin. It meant the descendant of Little Garo, a name meaning 'spear'. It was also a locational name 'of GARREN or GARRON' the name of a river in Herefordshire. The name was brought into England from France in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and the earliest of the name on record appears to be GARRAN (without surname) who was recorded in the year 1273. GARAN (without surname) was documented in 1354, and Edward GARON of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name was originally rendered in the Old Norman form GARAN, literally meaning the dweller at the place where cranes gathered, and was written in ancient documents in the Latin form GARANUS. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. 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. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. A later record of the name was Richard GARRAN who was recorded in Herefordshire in the year 1558.
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