The surname of NUTT was derived from the Old English word 'hnott'. The name was probably brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The word was used of pollarded cattle and trees, and the surname may perhaps in part be a metonymic occupational name for a herdsman or a topographic name for someone who lived by a stunted tree. There are numerous variants of the name, which include NOTT, NOTSON, NOTTS, NUTSON and NUTTS. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. The first mention of such names appears in the Domesday Book and they were progressively adopted between the 11th and 15th centuries. It was the nobles and upper classes who first assumed a second name, setting them apart from the common people who continued to use only the single name given to them at birth. It was not until the reign of Edward II. (1307-1327) that it became common practice to use a secondary name, originally a name reflecting the place of birth, a nickname, an occupational name or a baptismal name which had been passed on from a parent to the child, as an additional means of identification. Early records of the name mention Roger Not who was documented in the year 1160 in County Suffolk. Algar le Notte was recorded in County Somerset in the year 1183. Henry le Not, 1210 County Suffolk. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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