The surname of FILLMORE was originally a nickname derived from the Old French 'fin amor' a term of endearment meaning 'pure-love'. It was also a baptismal name 'the son of Philomena' an ancient although now almost forgotten personal name. The name originally arrived in England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and PILMORE (without surname) who was documented in County Norfolk in 1185, appears to be the first of the name on record. The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came from in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. Other records of the name mention William de Filmer, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Robertus de Filmer appears in Yorkshire in the year 1400. Later instances of the name include Thomas Foster and Saray Phillmore, who were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1683. William Phillimore and Elizabeth Davis were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1795.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at East Sutton and the County of Kent. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. 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.
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