(Russian) name, meaning ‘faith’. It coincides in form with the feminine form of the Latin adjective verus ‘true’. It was introduced to Britain at the beginning of the 20th century and was popular in the early decades, notably borne by the singer Vera Lynn, ‘The Forces Sweetheart’ (b. 1917 as Vera Welch), but has since gone out of fashion.
English and Welsh: patronymic from the Middle English personal name Jon(e) (see John). The surname is especially common in Wales and southern central England. In North America this name has absorbed various cognate and like-sounding surnames from other languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988).