If you have ever tried to research the surname "WARF" on the internet, or anywhere else for that matter, you have probably gotten as frustrated as I have. The earliest record of a Warf with the spelling W-A-R-F, that I have found, is that found in the book, "Records of Augusta County Virginia, 1745-1800". According to this record, on page 110 in Order Book No. 1 of Augusta County Court Records, Robert Warf of Frederick was a witness in some type of court proceedings. This record was dated September 18, 1746.
The reason that I emphasized the spelling is because of the number of variations I have encountered during my research. Although some people disagree, I fully believe that most, if not all of these variations are indeed at some point in the past, although proving such a theory would be impossible. One such variation is found in volume one of the "Passengers and Immigrant List Index", which records a Leby W-H-A-R-F arriving in Maryland in the year 1663. I do not know where he came from, but this could possibly be the very first Warf to have immigrated to the United States. Other variations are: W-h-a-r-f-f, W-a-r-f-e, W-a-u-f, W-o-r-f, W-a-f-f, W-h-a-u-r-f, W-o-f-f and W-h-a-r-f-e. I have personally seen census documents where one census spelled the family name "Warf" and the next census spelled the name "Worf", or some other variation, for the same family. This differing in spelling was not unusual during this particular period of time, because until somewhere around 1860 our language was a phonetic language. That is, everything was spelled the way it sounded. This sometimes caused two complications since the name could sound different to different people, much like some people being tone-deaf to music, others are word-deaf. Spelling changes could occur during many different events; when your ancestors were arranging with the local clergyman for a baptism, marriage, or burial; when registering with local police for an internal passport; when answering questions from census takers; when registering for compulsory military service; when booking passage on a ship; or even when the name was being carved on a tombstone.
According to some experts in the field of genealogical research, early records were at best, poorly kept. Spelling was almost entirely left to the mercy of the person filling out the documents. Also, many of the people of that time couldn't read or write so spelling of names and surnames was often left up to the person filling out the form. Should this person feel that the name "Warf", for instance, should be spelled "Wharf", then that is what was recorded. This theory, however, is considered totally inaccurate by other, so-called, experts.
Until the 14th Century, and much later in some parts of Europe, there were no surnames. People were known only by their first name, with a word attached to it describing what they did, where they lived, or even an event that may have taken place where they were born.
I have been told throughout my life that the first Warf's to settle in the United States crossed the ocean and got off the ship in Virginia. Through the course of my research, I myself, feel that we probably first arrived in the upper New England States, and migrated south from there. There were Warf's, with one spelling or another, in Massachusetts as early as the mid 1600's.
Most of the information here is from my own personal files that I have compiled over more than twenty-five years through extensive hours of searching the web, subscribing to some of the pay and other genealogy web sites. I have spent countless hours traveling around to homes, libraries and cemeteries in Dickson, Hickman, Maury, and Williamson counties in Tennessee, gathering information from anyone that was willing to help in my research of our Warf family name.
For those who are interested, I have hundreds if not thousands, of images of various documents containing information for many people with the Warf surname or are related, which I make available for sale. I also offer my book "WARF HISTORY, DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM AND SARAH G. DAMERON WARF" for purchase. I also accept, and encourage, donations. It is your purchases and donations that determine whether or not I am able to continue this web site. If you find any of the pages of this web site helpful, please make a donation to help keep it going. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. To make a donation, just click on the donate button below. You can make your donation safe and easy by using PayPal. My PayPal account email is firstname.lastname@example.org.You do not have to have a PayPal account to make a purchase or donation.