The surname of DIAZ was a baptismal name 'the son of Dionisia' a popular font name during the 12th century. Early records of the name mention Johannes Dyason, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Dionisia uxor Thome Dyas, 1379, ibid. Thomas Dyeson and Elizabeth Cox were married at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in the year 1688. When England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day. A notable member of the name was Diaz (or Dias) Bartolomeu (1450-1550) who was the Portugese navigator. At the Royal Court of Aragan, he met many scientists. In 1486, king John 11 gave him command of two vessels to follow up the discoveries already made on the West Coast of Africa. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
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