The surname of FLOWERS was an occupational name 'the flower', an archer, one who shot a flo, or arrow. The latter was a later word. The name was also used of a miller or flour merchant. 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. Early records of the name mention John le Floer of the County of Devonshire in 1273. William Floere of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward 111. (1327-1377) and Thomas Flowere appears in County Yorkshire in the same year. William Floore of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Elizabeth, daughter of Edwarde Flower was baptised at St. Mary Aldermary, London in 1567. Thomas Flowre and Jane were married in London in 1573. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monastries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. The word flower was a conventional term of endearment in medieval romantic poetry, and as early as the 13th century it is also regularly found as a female given name. It was originally from the Latin personal name of FLORUS, borne by a saint active in the Auvergne during the 4th or 5th centuries, and the name FLORA was borne by a 9th century Spanish martyr.
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