This surname of WARRIOR was derived from the Old French 'werreieor' a name meaning a fighting man, a valiant or experienced soldier, a man of war. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. Other spellings of the name include WARR, WARRE and WHARRIOR. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention Peter le Werre, 1199, Gloucestershire. Geoffrey le Werreur, 1200, ibid. Herbert Jordan le Werreur, 1202, County Lancashire. Thomas le Werreor, 1230, County Hereford. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God, however much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization. The American state of Delaware is named after Thomas West, Baron de la WARR (1577-1618) who was governor of Virginia at the time when the region was first explored.
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