This name BACKUS was of the occupational group of surnames meaning 'one who was employed at the bake-house'. The name was derived from the Old English word BAECHUS and brought into England from Germany at an early date. Early records of the name mention Walter de Bakhous who appeared in 1306 in London. Richard del Bakhous was documented in County Surrey in the year 1332. Thomas Bachous appears in 1334, London. Thomas del Bakhouse of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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. William Backhowse of Hampshire, registered at Oxford University in the year 1538, and George Backhouse and Anne Meryton were married in London in 1571. John Baccus (an adult) was baptised at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1753. 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. For the majority of the English speaking peoples, the main sources of names have been the traditions of the various Germanic tribes of Northern Europe, and the names introduced by the Church, perhaps Hebrew names of the Old Testament, or Greek and Roman names of the New Testament and saints. Many names were brought over to England by the invading Anglo-Saxons, a mixed collection of people from various Germanic tribes, speaking various dialects which were called Old English. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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