This surname ARMATYS was of the locational group of surnames meaning one 'of Armitag' in County Staffordshire. The origin of the name was probably from the donation of land for 'building' by Richard de Rihill, sometime between 1211 and 1240 to the Knights Templars, an order instituted in 1118 and introduced into Yorkshire in 1152. The name meant 'the dweller at the Hermitage'. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Early records of the name mention Richard de Ermitage, 1259, County Chester, and Hugh del Herytage was recorded in the year 1296 in Warwickshire. Thomas Armitage appears in County Lancashire in 1300, and Willelmus del Ermytache et Agnes ux ejus was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. A later instance of the name mention Joseph Armitage who married Mary Kedon at St, Dionis Backchurch, London in 1784. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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