The name Were is derived from the Old English word "wer" which meant a "weir, dam, fishing-trap" In other words, the family were "dwellers by a dam" or "keepers of the fishing-weir," or fishermen. Today in Britain, Weare and Lower Weare are small villages in Somerset
, on the River Axe, south of the Mendip Hills. And in the US: Weare, New Hampshire; and Weare Township, Michigan are listed.
Early Origins of the Were family
The surname Were was first found in Devon
where one of the first records was Peter de la Were who was listed in a census in 1242 and John atte
Were was listed in a Somerset
census in 1332. Traditionally, this family derive from an ancient branch of the Giffards of Devon
and are not related to the Weir of Vere families. Some say, in early times before the 12th century, the Weare-Giffards of Brightly and Halsworthy took the name Weare and eventually dropped the Giffard portion of the name.
Early History of the Were family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Were research.Another 269 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1600, and 1700 are included under the topic Early Were History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Were Spelling Variations
Early Notables of the Were family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Were Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Were family to Ireland
Some of the Were family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 130 words (9 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 Were family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Were Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Elizabeth Were, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1771
Were Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- James Were, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bussorah Merchant" in 1848 CITATION[CLOSE]
State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUSSORAH MERCHANT 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848BussorahMerchant.htm
- A. Were, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Caroline" in 1849 CITATION[CLOSE]
State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CAROLINE 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Caroline.htm
Contemporary Notables of the name Were (post 1700)
- Cecil Allan Walter Were CMG, British Consul General of Bale, Retired, London, England
The Were 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 Translation: God and my country.