This originally Norman surname of WARNS was derived from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements WARIN (guard) and HERI (meaning army). The name 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. The name is also spelt WARNE, WERNKE, WARNINCK, WARNKEN, WERTZ, WORLIN, WESSELMAN, WERNJTES and WESSELING, to name but a few. Early records of the name mention Edward WARNE who was recorded in County Devon in the year 1185, and Jervase de WERNE of the County Somerset was recorded in the year 1273. Gervase de WERNE appears during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). William WARNES of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Edward WARNE, of County Gloucestershire, registered at Oxford University in 1607. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. 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.
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