The surname of MITCHINSON was a baptismal name 'the son Michael'. A popular font name in England and Scotland from the 12th century. In 1395 William Michaelis is mentioned as owner of a tenament in Innkerkethyn. Johne Michelsone was granted a safe conduct to travel into England from Scotland in 1398. Donald Michaelis was vicar of Lethnot in 1435. Andrew Michelson was burgess of Aberdeen in 1484. The first people in Scotland to aquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The name was ultimately from the Hebrew, Michael 'Who is like God?. It was a name borne by various minor biblical characters as well as by an archangel, the protector of Isreal. In Christian times the name was regarded as the warrior archangel, conqueror of Satan, and the given name was correspondingly popular throughout Europe, especially in knightly and military families. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. The lion 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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