Show ContentsVarner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The German surname Varner emerged in the lands that formed the modern state of Lower Saxony, which is presently bordered by the North Sea, the Hartz mountains and the Elbe and Ems rivers. Lower Saxony was previously a medieval Saxon dukedom.

The name can be traced to the popular medieval pet-form Wezelo, which was a common abbreviation of the Christian name Wernher, and the surname came to denote 'a son of Wezelo'. Wernher was a very popular choice of Christian name in Medieval Germany, as it had been the name of many famous Crusaders. This Christian name was popular among their ranks and this ensured the popularity of the name. Most personal names were abbreviated and Wezelo was a common abbreviation of Wernher. The name Werner translates from German to mean "protector."

Bruder (Brother) Wernher (fl. 13th century) was an Austrian poet who wrote Middle High German social or political songs. He took part in the Sixth Crusade (1228-1229) under Emperor Frederick II as in one poem, he was highly critical of Pope Gregory IX for the war he instigated against Frederick II in 1228.

Wernher von Homberg (also Werner; Hohenberg, 1284-1320) was a knight in the service Emperor Henry VII, and later of Frederick the Fair. Some of his poems appear in the Codex Manesse (c. 1340.)

Early Origins of the Varner family

The surname Varner was first found in Lower Saxony, where the family gained a significant reputation for their contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. Branches of this estimable family held estates near Hanover, at Trebitsch in Silesia, and at Tolitz in Pomerania. The oldest form of the name is Werneke or Werner, but, in northern areas especially around Hamburg, it changed to Warner by around 1300. Chronicles first mention Herman Werneking of Hanover in 1497.

Early History of the Varner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Varner research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1490, 1541, 1637, 1646, 1687, 1693, 1710, 1718, 1750, 1759, 1761, 1766, 1768, 1791, 1805, 1817, 1818, 1823 and 1829 are included under the topic Early Varner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Varner Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Werner, Wernher, Warner, Warners, Werners, Wernere, Wernerer, Waerner, Warncke, Warnke (Hamburg), Werneke, Warnken, Warnke, Warneking (Westphalia) and many more.

Early Notables of the Varner family

Notables of the time included Zacharias Werner (1768-1823), who was a controversial dramatist. Abraham Gottlieb Werner (1750-1817) was a famous mineralogist and is considered to be the founder of geology. He influenced generations of prominent scientists while teaching at the mining institute in Freiberg. Gregor Joseph Werner (1693-1766) was an Austrian composer...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Varner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Varner Ranking

In the United States, the name Varner is the 1,711st most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [1]

United States Varner migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Varner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Adam Varner, aged 26, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736 [2]
  • James Varner, who arrived in South Carolina in 1772 [2]
Varner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Varner, aged 55, who landed in Maryland in 1813 [2]
  • John Varner, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 [2]
  • Thomas Varner, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1841 [2]
  • C Varner, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • Joseph Varner, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853 [2]

New Zealand Varner migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Varner Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Varner, aged 20, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Varner (post 1700) +

  • Martin Varner (1785-1844), one of the original American settlers in Mexican Texas
  • Glen Gann "Buck" Varner (1930-2000), American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Robert Edward Varner (1921-2006), United States federal judge
  • Jeff Varner (b. 1966), American news anchor, a former entertainment reporter
  • Geoffry Varner (b. 1987), American figure skater
  • Nick Varner (b. 1948), American pool player and was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America
  • Tom Varner (b. 1957), American French horn player and composer
  • James Christopher Varner (b. 1984), American mixed martial artist
  • Harold W. Varner, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1972 [4]
  • Charles Varner, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1912 [4]
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 10) . Retrieved from on Facebook