The surname of ARMINGER was an official name 'the armiger' an armour-bearer, a squire. The name was very familiar to early records. 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. Early records of the name mention Radulphus Normanill and Alicia uxor ejus Armiger, of Yorkshire who were listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Armiger of Beaconsthorp, was documented in the County of Norfolk, 1563. Robert Armiger and Alse Budsdell were married at St. George's, Hanover Square in London in 1746.
Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God, however much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Registered at North Creek, County Norfolk.
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