Researching the Surname - Hoare

Surname Studies

A surname study is much more than a family history which researches the ancestors and descendants of one family or individual.

Studying a surname means to collect all references to a surname on either a global or a more restricted basis such as to a particular country, or a county or region within a country. A surname study is a project researching facts about a surname and the people who have held it regardless of whether or not they are related to the study holder although my study has come out of a wish to understand where my family came from in the 18th Century and before.

My family surname of HOARE and the variants of  HOAR, HORE, HORRE, HORR, HOOR and HOR are registered with the Surname Society and I am researching them in the counties of Hampshire and Sussex in southern England. My Surname Society details are shown below.

Hoare Study Details

Study name variants
Hoare, Hoar, Hore, Horre, Horr, Hoor, Hor.
Study Location
Hampshire And Sussex
DNA study
About the study
A study to identify the family lines of Hoare and variants in the target counties of Hampshire and Sussex.
Study Website

Origin of the Surname and the name’s meaning

The Patronymica Britannica [1] provides the following information:
"HOAR. HOARE. Doubtless from A-Sax. hár, hoary, grey; applied to a person having a grey or hoary head. The Common medieval form is Le Hore."
An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names [2] provides further details:
"Hoare. White, hoar, grey."
"Hore. Hoar, white, grey. Horr, Local a ravine.
More detailed information can be found in the Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames [3]:
"Hoar, Hoare, Hore. - Nick. 'the hoar,' i.e. the white, the greyish white; probably from complexion of the hair; cf, Fairfax, Grey, White, Black.
'Ae olde men and hore
That help-lees ben of strengthe.'
Piers plowman , 1682-3
Very common in the Hundred Rolls [4], as for instance:
Adam le Hore, co. Derby, 1273. A.
John le Horre, co. Norf., ibid.
Alicia la Hore, co. Oxf., ibid.
Richard le Hore, co. Soms., 1 Edw. III: Kirby's Quest, p. 84.
London, 3, 55, 6; New York, 5, 8, 4."
Many old publications  can now be found online at a variety of websites. For example a fully digitised copy of "Some Account of the Early History and Genealogy of the Families of Hore and Hoare" is available at the Internet Archive. This was particularly interesting for me as the document identified that in the Domesday Book a village (modern day Ower) was known as "Hore". I am currently a long way from tracing my Hampshire Hoare family back to the village of Hore in 1086 however it is certainly motivating.

Entry for Hore in the Domesday Book
(image kindly made available by Professor J.J.N. Palmer. Image may be reused under a Creative Commons BY-SA licence - please credit Professor J.J.N. Palmer and George Slater.)

If you have Hoares (or any of its variants - Hoar, Hore, Horre, Horr, Hoor or Hor) in your family history in Hampshire or Sussex then I would be delighted to hear from you.

[1] Mark Anthony Lower MA FSA (1860) Patronymica Britannica A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom, John Russell Smith, London. Page 159.
[2] William Arthur MA (1857) Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. With an Essay, on their Derivation and Import. Sheldon Blakeman & Co. New York. Pages 160 & 163.
[3] Charles Wareing Bardsley MA (1901) Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames with Special American Instances. Henry Frowde. London. Page 387.
[4] The Hundred Rolls are a census of England and parts of what is now Wales taken in the late thirteenth century. They are named for the hundreds by which most returns were recorded.