The surname of NAPPLETON was a locational name 'of Appleton' parishes in the diocese of Norwich, Oxford and York. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was derived from the Old English word Aeppeltun. Early records of the name mention Hemeri de Lepeltone, 1182 County Worcestershire. Thomas de Appleton, 1196 County Yorkshire. Christopher Appleton married Mary Lovelace at Westminster, London in the year 1687. 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.
The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during the Invasion of 1066 were of three kinds. There were names of Norse origin which their ancestors had carried into Normandy; names of Germanic origin which the Frankish conquerors had brought across the Rhine and which had ousted the old Celtic and Latin names from France, and Biblical names and names of Latin and Greek saints. These names they retained even after the customs and language of the natives of Northern France had been adopted by them. After the Norman Conquest not only Normans, but Frenchmen and Bretons from other parts of France settled in England, and quite a few found their way north into Scotland. 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.
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