Dorothy Archer

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Meaning of Last Name

"archer" family name, ancestry, and history

Meaning: bowman

Origins: England

Archer is a Norman-French occupational surname, although often perceived to be of English origin, denoting one skilled in bowmanship. An archer was a professional bowman who probably invaded England with William the Conqueror in 1066. The leader of a Norman archer unit was called Bader. This explains how the surname came to be found extensively in England and subsequently later in America and elsewhere. Since illiteracy was common in medieval Europe, surnames used to be recorded by scribes as they sounded; thus one could be born under one spelling, christened under another, married under another, and die and have a headstone under yet another. It is because of this reason that so many different Archer spelling variants exist. These include, most notably, 'Archier', 'Archere', 'Archière', 'Larcher', 'Le Archer', 'L'Archer', 'Ar Char' and many others. Although rare, the surname has also been known to exist as 'McArcher'. There was a family 'Arquier' who dwelled in Provence in France who were said to be French aristocracy. Indeed, a number of the subsequent Archer families of England were nobility, due to their descent from a Baron Archer of Umberslade Hall.

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