The surname of NEGUS has the associated coat of arms recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Registered in County Norfolk. It was an English name of uncertain origin, conceivably a topographic name for someone who lived in a house that was near, but not in a main settlement. The name was derived from the Old English NEAH (near) and HUS (house). During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coat of arms came into being, for the practical reason that 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. Early records of the name mention William Negose, who registered at Oxford University in the year 1598. Baptised. Mary, daughter of John Negus, at St. Mary Aldermary, London in the year 1685. John, son of Peter Nyhouse was baptised at St. James's Clerkenwell, London in the year 1697.
Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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