This English surname of LENGTHORN derives from the surnames of LANGHORNE and LANGHORN meaning 'dweller at the long horn'; the trumpeter with the long horn; the dweller at the big corner. This could be a nickname for a huntsman etc. from the length of the horn he carried. The most likely explanation is that it is local, from some piece of land so called from its shape. Then the surname would originally be 'at the lang horn' from residence thereby. The name is also spelt HORN. Early records of the name include Cecil de LANGEDON, county Kent. William de LANGEDONE county Essex, John de LANGEDONE county Somerset in the reign of Edward III (l327-l377). In l587, Robert Langdon and Alice Garsshe, widow, were married. George Stillors and Ann LANGDON were married in the year l79l at St. Georges, Hanover Square, London. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans.
In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations and to grant arms. Edward III appointed two heraldic kings at arms for south and north England in l340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in l483-84.
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