The surname of KEICH was a nickname 'the kedge' one who was brisk and active, a lively fellow. It was also a name that was given to a slaughtered animal rolled into a lump and used in the 16th century. The name was a term for a butcher 'Did not goodwife Keech the Butchers wife come in then?' was a quotation used by Henry 1V. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Reginald Hugo Keche, who was documented in 1209 in County Surrey, and Edward Keatch was recorded in County Yorkshire in 1214. Early records of the name mention Peter Kech, 1273 County Norfolk. Edward Keitche of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Later instances of the name mention John Keche who was the rector of Erpingham, County Norfolk in 1430. Andrew Stucke married Edey Kege at St. Mary, Aldermary, London in 1621. 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.
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