This surname KEEDWELL is of the locational group of surnames 'of Kiddal' a hamlet in the parish of Barwick-in-Elmet, seven miles from Leeds. The name was derived from the Old English word CY-DAEL - and literally meant the dweller in the valley of the cows.
Local names usually indicated where a man held his land. Early records of the name mention CHIDALE (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name was documented as KIDALL in the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1303. Thomas de Kidale and Beatrix de Kydhall were both listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Sedgewick and Petronella Kidall were married in Westminster, London in the year 1606. Thomas Kiddle and Mary Maidmen were married in Stourton, County Wiltshire in the year 1718. Jonathon Lock and Susanna Kiddell were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1802. 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 rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.
Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Registered at South Ferreby, County Lincolnshire.
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