The surname of FROST was derived from the Old English FORST - meaning one with white hair. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday Book. Early records of the name mention Aluuin William Forst was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Gilbert Frost of the County of Suffolk in 1095. Lefstan Frost was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Johannes Froste, ibid. Dionisius Frost was baptised in London in 1530. The acquisition of surnames in Europe during the past eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in neighbouring cultures, and indigenous cultural tradition. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a lord and his vassals, the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one carl from another. But as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another reliably and unambiguously. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Granted to the Rev. William Frost of Thorpe County.
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