The surname of FAWCETT was a locational name 'of Forcett' in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and of Facit, a spot in County Lancashire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Fagheside (without surname) who was documented in Lancashire in the year 1119, and as Faxide (without surname) in the year 1247. Alan de Fausyde, was recorded in 1248 in Scotland. Richard Fascet, was documented in County Yorkshire, in the year of 1300. Elias de Ffaghesude appears in the year 1332 in County Lancashire. Thomas de Forset was recorded in County Surrey in 1327. Adam de Fawsyde of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Later instances of the name mention Samuel Fasset (preacher) and Elizabeth Shaw, who were married at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in the year 1627. Edward Fassett and Isabella Jackson were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1775. 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.
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