SURNAMES as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. The surname of HARDY was derived from the Old French word 'hardi' a nickname for a brave, daring and courageous man. The name was brought into England during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Early records of the name mention William Hardi, 1194 Yorkshire. William de Hardy, 1206 London. Thomas Hardy of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name arrived early in Scotland, and William Hardy of Lanarkshire is in record there in 1296. A certain William Herdy of Orkney was punished for becoming involved in a battle at Summerdale in 1529. Several of the name are mentioned in the Commissariot Record of Dunblane in the 16th and 17th centuries. (This was the record of the courts which had jurisdiction over domestic relations). At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Registered at Wetwang, County York, 1665. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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