- This uncommon surname is a variant of the more familiar "Werry", itself deriving from the Old German male given name "Werric", cognate with the Old French "Guerri", a compound of the elements "werre, querre", war, and "ric", ruler; hence "ruler of the war". The personal names "Guericus" and "Gueri" are recorded (without surname) in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Norfolk and London, and a Werri de Marinis was noted in the 1166 Red Book of the Exchequer, Yorkshire. Further early forms of the name include: "Werricus, Warricus, Werrei" and "Werreys", all listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Suffolk, dated 1219 - 1220. The surname first appears on record in the early 13th Century (see below), and in 1228, one Geppe Werri was noted in the Book of Fees for Durham. Surnames derived from given names are the oldest and most pervasive surname type, and in vernacular naming traditions (as distinct from religious), names were originally composed of vocabulary elements of the local language, and no doubt bestowed for their auspicious connotations. In the modern idiom the surname is variously spelt: Werry, Wery, Werie, Wherry, Wherray and Warry. On January 28th 1685, John Werry and Silvie Chambers were married at St. Catherine by the Tower, London, and on January 15th 1709, John, son of Nathanael and Anne Wherry, was christened at St. Olave's, Southwark, also in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Werri, which was dated 1206, in the "Pipe Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.