The surname of HEATHERLY was of the locational group of surnames meaning 'one who came from Hatherleigh' a spot in County Devon, or possibly from Hatherley in Gloucestershire. The name was derived from the Old English word HAEGPORN, literally meaning the dweller at the hawthorn-wood clearing. HADRELEIA (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, appears to be the first of the name on record. Most of the place-names that yield surnames are usually of small communities, villages, hamlets, some so insignificant that they are now lost to the map. A place-name, it is reasonable to suppose, was a useful surname only when a man moved from his place of origin to elsewhere, and his new neighbours bestowed it, or he himself adopted it. HATHERLEGA (without surname) was documented in 1193 in Devon, and HEGERLEO (without surname) was recorded in 1317 in County Gloucestershire. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Willelmus de HATHERLEGE of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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