Show ContentsGuarenn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Guarenn arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Guarenn family lived in Sussex. Their name, however, is a reference to Varrenne, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. [1] Despite this name's resemblance to the Germanic Guarin, often translated as Warin, the names are not thought to be related.

Gundrada de Warenne (d. 1085), wife of William de Warenne, first Earl of Surrey, was long supposed to have been a daughter either of William the Conqueror and his queen Matilda of Flanders, or of Matilda by an earlier marriage with Gerbod, advocate of St. Bertin. [2]

Early Origins of the Guarenn family

The surname Guarenn was first found in Sussex, Surrey, Norfolk and Suffolk where William de Warene, or Warrena married Gundard, a daughter of William the Conqueror, received great possessions and later became progenitor of the Earls of Warenne and Surrey. [3]

One of the first on record was William Warenne or Warren, first Earl of Surrey (d. 1088), who "appears to have been the son of Rodulf or Ralph, called 'filius episcopi,' by his second wife, Emma, Rodulf himself being the son of Hugh (d. 1020), Bishop of Coutances, by a sister of Gunnor, wife of Richard I (d. 996), Duke of the Normans. His name was derived from his fortress situated on the left bank of the Varenne, and called after that river, though later called Bellencombre. " [2]

Another source goes into more detail: "William de Warren, Earl of Warren, in Normandy, a near relation of the Conqueror's, came into England with that Prince, and having distinguished himself at the battle of Hastings, obtained an immense portion of the public spoliation. He had large grants of lands in several counties, amongst which were the Barony of Lewes, in Sussex, and the manors of Carletune and Beningtun, in Lincolnshire. So extensive indeed were those grants, that his possessions resembled more the dominions of a sovereign prince, than the estates of a subject. He enjoyed, too, in the highest degree, the confidence of the king, and was appointed joint justice-general, with Richard de Benefactis, for administering justice throughout the whole realm." [4]

Hamelin de Warenne, Earl of Warenne or Surrey (d. 1202), was an illegitimate son of Geoffrey 'Plantagenet,' Count of Anjou (d. 1151), and was therefore half-brother of Henry II. "His importance dates from the rich marriage which he was enabled to make by the goodwill of his half-brother the king. In 1163 or 1164 he married Isabella de Warenne. Hamelin is henceforward called 'Comes de Warenne' and lord of his wife's great estates in Yorkshire, Surrey, Sussex, and Norfolk. " [2]

John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey or Earl Warenne (1231?-1304), was the son of William de Warenne, Earl of Warenne or Surrey (d. 1240.) His son was John de Warenne Earl of Surrey and Sussez, or Earl Warenne (1286-1347.)

Poynton in Chester, "anciently called Ponynton and Poynington, remained in the possession of the male line of the family of Warren from the reign of Edward III. till the year 1801, when it terminated in Sir George Warren, K.B., from whose daughter, Viscountess Bulkeley, the manor passed by will to the Hon. Frances Maria Warren, afterwards Lady Vernon, who was succeeded by her son the present lord. " [5]

Early History of the Guarenn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Guarenn research. Another 162 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1138, 1148, 1399, 1563, 1609, 1580, 1628, 1620, 1581, 1605, 1604, 1617, 1694 and 1617 are included under the topic Early Guarenn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Guarenn Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Warren, Warrene and others.

Early Notables of the Guarenn family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Edward Warren (1563-1609) of Stockport, Cheshire; and Richard Warren (c. 1580-1628), A London merchant and passenger on the Mayflower in 1620. William Warren (fl. 1581), was an English poet, two works are known but only one copy of one of the...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Guarenn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Guarenn family to Ireland

Some of the Guarenn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Guarenn family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Guarenn name or one of its variants: Abigail Warren and Anna Warren, who both came to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623; John Warren, his wife Margaret and their four children, who arrived in Watertown, MA in 1630.

The Guarenn Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Leo de juda est robur nostrum
Motto Translation: The Lion of Judah is our strength.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  5. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook