The name NOLES was derived from the Old English word CNOLLE, a locational name meaning the dweller at the top of a hill. In the middle ages it was customary for a man to be named after where he lived, or from the land that he owned. This name would identify his whole family, and followed them wherever they moved. Early records of the name mention Robert de la Cnolle, recorded in 1185, County Devon. Theobald de Chnolle appears in 1242 in County Kent, and Thomas Knolle was documented in 1279 in Cambridge. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Cecelia de Knolle of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Elizabeth, daughter of William Knowles was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1583, and Robert Knowels and Mary Wryght were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in 1589. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.
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