Waire History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Waire is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived near a dam or weir on a river. Waire is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Other types of local surnames include topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. This surname comes from the Old English words wær and wer, which mean dam, or weir. The surname Waire may also refer to people who came from a place named Ware. A third interpretation of the derivation of this surname comes from the Old English word, war(e), which means wary, or cautious. In this sense, the surname would have been given to someone who was of a cautious disposition. Members of the Waire family settled in Devon, prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Early Origins of the Waire family

The surname Waire was first found in Devon where the first record of the family was Herebertus la Guerre in the Pipe Rolls of 1179. A few years later, John la Werre, la Guerre was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1187 and 1195 in Gloucestershire. The name was "originally de la werre, de la guerre, 'of the war', a warrior." [1]

"It was formerly prefixed by the particles De la, as in the ancient family De la Warr." [2]

"Sir Roger de la Warr, the third Baron, son and successor of John la Warr, one of the commanders of Cressy, shared himself in the glory Poictiers, and took a leading part in the capture of the French king. With reference to this exploit, it is recorded that much contention took place, as he defended himself with great valour; and the pressure upon him becoming great, such as knew him cried out, 'Sir, surrender, or you are dead;' where- upon he yielded, according to Froisard, to Sir Dennis Morbeck, a knight of Artois, in the English service; but being forced from that captain, more than ten knights and esquires claimed the honour of taking the royal prisoner. Among these, the pretensions of Sir Roger la Warr, and Sir John Pelham (ancestor of the Pelhams, Dukes of Newcastle, and of the Lords Yarborough and Pelham) having been acknowledged the strongest, Lord de la Warre had, in commemoration of so valiant an exploit, the crampet, or chape, of the captive prince's sword; and Sir John Pelham had the buckle of a belt as a memento of the same achievement. His lordship continued for several years after Poictiers in the French wars, and acquired in every campaign an augmentation of renown. " [3]

"William de la War, and Amabel his wife, occur in 1194 in Surrey and Warwickshire (Rotuli Curiae Regis). Dugdale commences the pedigree with John La Warre, who about twelve years afterwards received from King John the Manor of Bristolton, a part of the Honour of Gloucester, and died in 1212. His son Jordan joined the revolt of the Barons, and though he returned to his allegiance in 1215, Fulk de Bréant and William de Cantilupe being sureties for 'his future Fidelity,' was again in arms against the Crown in his old age, and only made his peace after the 'murder of Evesham, for battle,' says one chronicler, 'none it was.' A second Sir John de la Warr, styled junior, and most probably his brother, was one of the two wardens of Kenilworth Castle, and was slain by an arrow shot during the siege." [4]

Another source claims the name was Norman in origin: "from Gar or Garde, near Corbeil, Isle of France. Ingelram de Warda occurs in Northamptonshire 1130, and Ralph de Gar in Norfolk, temp. Henry II. In 1296 and 1280 Stephen de Ware and Thomas de Ware are mentioned as holding fiefs [in Norfolk.] From the latter descended the Lords of Tottington, Pickenham and Dudlington." [5]

The Subsidy Rolls of 1327 list Henry atte Warr and the Lancashire Feet of Fines list John la Warre in 1310. [6]

Early History of the Waire family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Waire research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1594, 1666, 1772, 1846, 1798, 1588 and 1632 are included under the topic Early Waire History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Waire Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Waire are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Waire include: Ware, Wares, Delaware, Delawarr and others.

Early Notables of the Waire family (pre 1700)

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Waire Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Waire family to Ireland

Some of the Waire family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 75 words (5 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 Waire family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Waire or a variant listed above: Robert Ware who settled in Massachusetts in 1630; William Ware who settled in Virginia in 1641; John Ware settled in Virginia in 1653.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print


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