The surname of ALDRED was a baptismal name 'the son of Aldred'. The name was derived from the Old English EALDRAED - meaning old counsel. This name appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Ailred. In 1086 the compilation of the Domesday Book was ordered by William the Conqueror (1027-87), King of England from 1066. He was born in Failaise, the bastard son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, by Arlette, a tanner's daughter. On his father's death in 1035, the nobles accepted him as a duke. When Edward the Confessor, King of England died in 1066, William invaded England that Autumn, on 14th October, 1066 killing Harold (who had assumed the title of King). English government under William assumed a more feudal aspect, the King's tenants-in-chief and all title to land was derived from his grants, and the Domesday Book contains details of the land settlements, and the names of the owners of such. 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.
Early records of the name mention Golding Aldred of the County of Middlesex in 1224. Nicholas Alred of the County of Somerset in 1327. William Hawke and Magdalen Aldred were married in London in 1550. Henry Aldred, vicar of Rushall, County Norfolk in 1603. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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