Site hosted by Build your free website today!


(family name origins)   (handpainted coats of arms)

(embroidered coats of arms)

(order form)


Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to 15th century. They were not in use in England and Scotland before the Norman Conquest and were first found in the Domesday Book.

The employment of a second name, a custom that was introduced by the Normans, who themselves had not long before adopted them, became in the course of time, a mark of gentle blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for a gentleman to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that the practice became general among all people.

These names were adopted according to fairly general principles divided into four classifications. Local names are taken from places of origin. Nicknames describe mental and physical characteristics, clothes, complexion. etc. The patronymic was the method of taking the first name of the father, as the last name of the son.

During the 13th century Heralds became the acknowledged experts in the system of supervising and recording the signs on the shields which were known as armorials, and out of the age of chivalry emerged the tradition which takes our imagination back to the stirring and historic events and scenes of the Middle Ages. Now we are able to display such symbols, or Coats of Arms, associated to our name as a decorative rendition of the Heraldic artists interpretation of ancient blazons for prosperity.

The written description of the Coat Of Arms is included in each document printed, this is described as, "The Blazon Of Arms." The layout always starts with a colour, and the colours are described as follows:

OR (yellow/gold)
ARGENT (white/silver)
GULES (red)
AZURE (blue)
VERT (green)
SABLE (black)
PURPURE (purple)

Visit this Ring's Home Page!
Ancestral Name Histories by Marlaine Elvidge
[ Prev | Skip Prev | Prev 5 | List | Stats
Join | Rand | Next 5 | Skip Next | Next ]
Powered by RingSurf!

Designed by members of the
The HTML Writers Guild

Counter Courtesy

copyright 2000-2006 Ancestral Name Histories

Contact Webmasters