The surname of BIDDLE was derived from the Old English BYDEL, an official name 'the beadle', one who executed processes or attended proclamations a junior official of a court of justice, responsible for acting as an usher in court, carrying the mace and delivering official notices, as so on. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. Early records of the name mention Brictamarus Bedel of the County of Suffolk who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conquerer. It is known as the Domesday book. John le Bedal of the County of Somerset was documented in the year 1327. Richard Bedal of the County of Stafford, was registered at Oxford University in 1578. John, son of John Biddall was baptised at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1632. This is also an old Scottish surname and a person of this name nay have given origin to Biedliston in the Parish of Dyce, Aberdeenshire. 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.
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