The surname of NORFOLK was a locational name 'of Norfolk'. Local names usually denoted where a man held land. The name was derived from the Old English word 'norofolc' and NORDFOLC (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1066, appears to be the first of the name on record in County Norfolk. Other records of the name mention Roger de Norfolk, 1273 London and William Norfolke appears in County Norfolk in the year 1300. Willelmus de Northfolk of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Habitation names are derived from names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named places, which include rivers, houses with signs on them, regions, or whole counties. The original bearer of the name who stayed in his area might be known by the name of his farm, or the locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could acquire the name of that county or the region from which he originated. A later instance of the name mentions Richard Norfolk who married Ann Platt, St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1795. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.
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