The surname of FISHBURN was a locational name 'of Fishbourne' in County Sussex, and Fisburn, a spot in County Durham. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention FISBURNE (without surname) who was recorded in Sussex in 1195, and Edward Fisburne appears in Sussex in the year 1202. Richard de Fisseburn, 1206, County Leicestershire. Edwin Fisburne of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name is also spelt Fishborn and Fisburn. This name was occasionally selected because of its associations with the Hebrew given name of YONA or JONAH,, because Jonah in the book of the Bible that bears his name, was swallowed up by 'a Great Fish' and blessed by his father Jacob, with the words 'Let them grow into a multitude'. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village early times, has served to name many families. 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. In Scotland an Englishman of this name was lord of Red Castle, Lunan in the year 1306, probably a settler from the Fishburne in County Durham.
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