This surname FERRARA of Italian origin, was an occupational name, a blacksmith, a worker in metals. The small villages of Europe or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monastries, gave rise to family names which reflected the occuption or profession of the original bearer of the name. The name has many variant spellings. A notable member of the name was Andrea Ferrara (16th century). He was an Italian broad-sword maker, probably born in Ferrara. With his brother he was in great repute as an armourer in Belluno in 1585. It is said that he tempered sword blades by the method employed by the smith of Damascus. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts, denoting strength, courage and valour, and on that account is the most frequently borne in coat armour.
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