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Surname Ware - Meaning and Origin

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Unlocking Ancient Secrets: An Ancestral Journey with the iGENEA DNA Test

Embarking on a personal voyage into the annals of ancestral history, the author uncovers intriguing facts about their surname, Ware, using the iGENEA DNA test. What follows is an engaging journey of discovery, connections, and lineage tracing back to ancient times.

T. Ware

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Ware: What does the surname Ware mean?

The surname Ware is of Old English origin and has multiple meanings and historical interpretations. Primarily, it is considered to be locational, derived from a place named 'Ware' in Hertfordshire, England. The word 'Ware' itself comes from the Old English term 'waras' meaning 'dwellers by the weir' or 'people who live by the fish weir or dam'. Essentially, it pertained to those who lived near a dam or an enclosure built in a river to trap fish.

It's also believed that Ware could derive from the Old English word 'wær,' which stands for 'cautious' or 'wary'. In such a case, the name could be an occupational tag for a watchman or guard.

This surname began to surface in various parts of England in the late 13th century and early 14th century, particularly in Devon, Somerset, and Dorset.

As with many surnames, it's important to note that specific meanings can also depend on the family line, as different families with the 'Ware' surname could have obtained it for different reasons.

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Ware: Where does the name Ware come from?

The last name Ware is found throughout Britain, parts of Europe, and in many parts of the United States. In the United Kingdom, Ware is one of the most common surnames, ranking at 233rd most common according to records from the Office for National Statistics. Additionally, Ware is a common surname in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

In the United States, Ware is the 347th most popular last name, according to the 2000 census. The census recorded 26,313 individuals with the last name. The state of Georgia had the highest proportion of households with the Ware surname, with a recorded population of 1,231 people, followed by Texas with 1,152. The state with the lowest concentration of Ware households is Alaska.

In addition, Ware is an uncommon last name in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but it can be found in all three countries. The popularity of the Ware surname in these countries is significantly lower than in the United Kingdom and United States, but is still present.

Overall, the Ware surname is not extremely rare, but it is far from being one of the most common surnames. It can be found in most Anglophone countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as some European countries like Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Northern Ireland.

Variations of the surname Ware

The surname Ware is an anglicised version of the French surname Le Vare, which originated from the word ‘vair’, meaning ‘ermine’ - a type of stoat found in the northern climates of Eurasia and North America. The name is thought to have originated from a family of noble status, bearing robes lined with ermine fur.

The Ware surname has many different spellings and variants including, but not limited to, Weare, Wear, Waare, Warr, Wair, Waire, Vare, Varr, Vair, Vaire and Vere. Each of these variants are based upon a combination of phonetic spelling, regional dialect and different versions of old French.

The Weare variant of the name is predominant in the English-speaking world, particularly in England, Ireland and Scotland, where it has been recorded since the 10th century. In the United States, however, more than eleven different variations of Ware have been recorded. In Australia, Ware is the most common version of the surname, closely followed by the Weare form.

Ware is also a common surname in countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, where the surname is spelled Vare. This spelling is also popular in Germany, where Ware is usually documented as Waren or Wair.

In France, the original spelling of Le Vare is still occasionally used, but most commonly the surname is found in the form of Vaire, Vair or Vare. In Spain and Italy, the surname is found as Vear and the Dutch version is Ver.

Finally, there are also many modernizations or anthropophonic modifications of the surname, such as Werner, Warner and Warring.

Famous people with the name Ware

  • Heidi Ware: American actress, best known for her role in the hit TV series The OC.
  • Sean Ware: American football player, played for the Atlanta Falcons from 2001-2006.
  • Steven Ware: English footballer, played for Manchester United from 2004-2008.
  • Jackie Ware: British singer-songwriter, released two albums in the early 2000s.
  • Chandler Ware: American basketball player, member of the Philadelphia 76ers from 1993-1998.
  • Janyse Jaud: Canadian voice actress, primarily known for voicing Cat in the reboot series of the TV series Voltes V.
  • Marie Ware: American poet, an accomplished artist with two books of published work.
  • Dan Ware: English cricketer, part of England's national team from 1987-1994.
  • John Ware: Canadian cowboy, considered a "founding father" of the Alberta cowboy culture.
  • Richard Ware: American politician, a three-term United States Representative from Massachusetts from 1967-1973.

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