The surname of DARCEY was a locational name 'of Arcy' a spot in Normandy. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The names of habitation are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named habitations. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and in fact whole countries. As a general rule, the further someone travelled from his place of origin, the broader the designation. Someone who stayed at home might be known by the name of his farm or locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could acquire the name of the county or region from which he originated. 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.
Norman de Areci was a tenant in chief in County Lincoln, during the reign of William I (1066-1087). Osbert de Arcy was recorded in the year 1273 in County Lincoln. A notable member of the name was Thomas Darcy (1467-1537) English soldier and stateman. He commanded forces in the field in Spain and France. He lost favour with King Henry VIII by speaking against the divorce of Catherine of Arrogan. He was condemmed for taking part in the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536, but was pardoned, only to be condemned again, and beheaded for treason. 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. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in County Essex.
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