The surname of ALDERMAN was derived from the Old English word 'ealdormann' an official name, the governor of a guild. 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. Early records of the name mention Adam de Alderman, 1200, London. John Alderman was documented in County Sussex, in the year 1175. Jukel Alderman was the Sheriff of London in the year 1194 as was Jacob Alderman in 1194. In the year 1273 Aldermann' de Bretford was recorded in the County of Sussex. In the same year Robert le Alderman was registered in the County of Norfolk and Benjamin Aldermannus in the County of Sussex. Thomas Alderman, was the rector of St. Buttolph, Norwich, in the year 1388. In 1691 Thomas, son of Joseph Alderman, was baptised in St James', Clerkenwell, London. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but they 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 (1327-1377) that it became common practice for all people.
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