This surname AITKEN was a baptismal name 'the son of Adam' an ancient and still popular font name. Early records of the name mention Adekin filius Turst, 1191 County Norfolk. John Adekyn, 1296 Cumberland. Willelmys Adkynson was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of the year 1379. John of Akyne a Scottish merchant was petitioned for the return of his ship and goods illegally seized in England in 1405. George Handaye married Mary Adkinsson at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1718. Alex Aitkens and Jane Mecallpen were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1744. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The arms were registered at Saltcoats, Co. Stirling in the year 1871. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
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