The surname of WARES was derived from the Middle English WAR - meaning wary, astute, prudent. It was also a locational name 'at the weir', from residence thereby. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. Early records of the name mention Ralph de la Ware of the County of Essex in 1273. Maurice de la War of the County of Devon was documented in the year 1272-1307. Henry de Ware of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Humphrey Weare of the County of Devon was registered at Oxford University in 1585. William Ware sailed to the Barbadoes in the Expedition of 1635. 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.
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