The surname of MOSLER was a locational name 'of Mossley' once a hamlet now a town in the parish of Saddleworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The name was derived from the Old English word MOSLEAH, and first appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as MUSELEIE. A locational name usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The original bearer would take his name from the village, town or the area where he dwelt. This name would identify his whole family, and would follow them wherever they moved. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage that it would add to their status. The name is now chiefly found in the West Midlands. Other spellings include MOSELEY, MOSSLEY, MOSSELY and MOSSLEYE. Later records of the name mention Willelmus de Moslay, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Moseley of County Middlesex, registered at Oxford University in the year 1588. Rowland Mosley of The Hough, Manchester, was listed in the Wills at Chester in the year 1617. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. 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. An infamous member of the name was Sir Oswald MOSLEY (1896-1980) who was the English politician, successively Conservative, Independent and Labour MP, he was a member of the 1929 Government. He later resigned and became leader of the British Union of Fascists. His vision of a politically and economically united Europe is embodied in his 'Europe: Faith and Plan' published in 1958.
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