a site to explain the origins and meaning of our name.
Knowing there are many Warilas spread across the globe that have little to no understanding of our surname or its origins, I constructed this Web site with the vision to educate and connect with extended family members who may be seeking to know where we came from.
The Name - Warg, Warila, Varila
To start, the name Warila is a hybrid name derived from Swedish and Finnish, but is distinctly Finnish with regards to heritage. Finland was conquered by Sweden in 1249 and the Finnish language was repressed and used only by peasants and officials in lower administrative positions. Many Finns adopted Swedish names during this period for a multiple of reasons, mainly to register with the Church. From the 13th to the 17th century, it was also common for Finns to adopt the last name of the landowner where they would dwell. For instance, if a Mikkoniemi were to marry a Berg and live on Berg's land, their last name would be Berg in spite of the gender.
The word "Warila" can be broken up into two parts. The first part, WARI is a Finnish modification of the Swedish word for wolf, VARG. Prior to the 20th century, Finland used a "W" rather than a "V" commonly used for the "vuh" sound today. In Finnish, the "W" is known as "tuplavee" or directly translated to English, "double v." For these reasons, many of us living in the United States with ancestors who immigrated at the beginning of the 1900s spell our name with a "W" while our distant relatives living in Finland most likely spell their name VARILA. Additionally, Finns have often modified foreign words to be more pronounceable and compliant with their grammar by adding an "i" to the end, which brings us to how we arrived at the first part of our name ... WARI. The second part of our name, LA, is a common Finnish convention added to the end part of a surname to denote "the place of." Therefore, the literal translation of the name WARILA is "The Place of the Wolf."
Finnish Pronunciation: Var-e-la
English Pronunciation: War-luh, War-uh-Luh, or War-e-Luh
It is assumed by most genealogists and clergy within the Finnish Lutheran Church that the name Warila/Varila originated in the Keski Pohjanmaa region of Finland.