This surname of ALDERFER was a name which was applied to an older person, not necessarily implying old age, but rather used to distinguish an older from a younger bearer of the same given name. The name has numerous variant spellings which include OULD, AULT, OLDMAN, ALTERMAN, ALDERER, OUDT, OUDEMAN, ALT and OULDS, to name but a few. In part this name is from the Yiddish male given name ALTER (old man) given to a child born after the death of a sibling or assumed by anyone who was in mortal danger (usually someone ill). The purpose was to confuse the Angel of Death into thinking that the person was old and so not worth claiming as a victim. Early records of the name mention Edward Olde, who was documented in County Yorkshire, and appears to be the first of the name on record. John le Olde, 1311 County Gloucestershire. Thomas le Old, County Somerset, 1379. John Old married Mary Duncan at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in the year of 1750. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. A later record of the name states that in 1608 'July 7, was delivered into Christe's hospital, a child that was laid at Sir William Paddie's dore, who is named Elizabeth Aulde'. John Ault and Mary Williams were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1788. A minor notable of the name was Henry Fryer ALDERER, born on the 10th November, 1902. He was an educational director and his appointments included Educational Director at Mooseheart, Illinois, from 1954, and he was the editor of the magazine 'Success Unlimited'.
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