The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Much Hadham, Hertfordshire. The surname of CHASE was apparently a metonymic occupational name for a huntsman or rather a nickname for an exceptionally skilled huntsman, originally derived from the Middle English word CHASE, meaning to hunt, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form CAPTARE. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Robert Chace, who was documented in 1327 in County Essex, and John Chase appears in Yorkshire in 1393. 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. Later records of the name mention John Chase and Hanna Tailor, who were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1626, and Richard Chase and Bridgett Monday were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1657. Richard Chase was the rector of Ellingham, County Norfolk in 1746. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.
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