The surname of DRIVER was an occupational name 'the driver' a ploughman, a driver of horses or oxen attached to a cart. The name was originally derived from the Old English word DRIFAN. 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, as is the case here. Early records of the name mention Alice le Driveres, 1279, County Yorkshire. Gilbert le Drivere, was documented in County Suffolk in the year 1283. Johannes Dryver of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Dryver and Alice Edwardes were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1563. Richard Driver and Judey Hinsman were married at the same church in the year 1667. Sir Godfrey Rolles Driver (1892-1975) was the English biblical scholar. He was professor of Semitic philology at Oxford, and from 1965 until 1970 he was joint director of the project to develop the new translation of the 'New English Bible'. 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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