This surname DEX is a corrupt form of the name DEXTER and was of the occupational group of surnames 'a dyer of cloth'. The name was originally derived from the Middle English word DEAG meaning 'dye'. Occupational surnames refer directly to the particular trade or occupation followed by the first bearer of the name. These occupations can be divided into classes such as agricultural, manufacturing, retailing and so on. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today. Smiths, millers and wrights were indeed specialists, but even they would normally have their own smallholdings for growing crops and keeping a few animals. Others were simply designated as the servant of some person of a higher social status, as a maid or parson. This name is a Suffolk form of DYSTER, and also noted in Leicester and Warwickshire. The name is also spelt DEXTER, DECKSTER and DYKSTER. John Ralph le Dextere appears in County Leicestershire in the year 1262, and seems to be the first of the name on record. Roger Simon le Dykestre was documented in 1305 in County Suffolk, and William Dexter is mentioned in 1278 in Warwickshire. Most of the European surnames 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. Later instances of the name include Edward Dexter and Elizabeth Benbo who were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1604, and George Dexter and Ann Abell were wed in London in 1609. The name was taken to Ireland by early settlers where it is rendered as DWYER. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. Translation of arms: Argent (white) denotes Peace and Sincerity. Azure (blue) means Loyalty and Truth. The chevron was the emblem of protection and was often granted in the arms to one who had achieved some notable enterprise.
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