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De Cristoforo Coat of Arms / De Cristoforo Family Crest

This surname was of the baptismal group of surnames meaning 'the son of Cristopher' an ancient and popular font name which has has been in use since the 12th century. This name was from the medieval given name which ostensibly means 'Bearer of Christ'. This was borne by a rather obscure 3rd century martyred saint. His name was relatively common among early Christians, who desired to bear Christ metaphorically with them in their daily lives, but it was later explained by a wholly legendary story in which he carried the infant Christ across a ford, and so became the patron saint of travellers. In this guise he was enormously popular in the Middle Ages, and many Inns providing accommodation for travellers were named with this sign; in some instances the surname may have derived originally from the residence at, or association with an inn. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Early records of the name mention Nicholas Kitte of County Northampton, who appears in the year 1273, and William Kitte was recorded in Cambridge in the same year. Osbert Kyte of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward 111 (1327-1377). Cristoforus et uxor ejus of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances of the name mention Christopher Fell who married Jenet Casson at St. Mary, Ulverston in 1545. Nicholas Christoferson of Dunerdall, Lancashire, was listed in the Wills at Richmond in 1598. Francis Christoferns of Coulton was listed in the Wills in 1664.

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last updated on: September 13 2018

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