This surname was of the baptismal group of surnames 'the son of Albon or Albin' a pet form of Albany. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention Albin le Porteur, 1273 County Cambridge. Albinus le Albaster, was documented in London during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). Hugh Albyn of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Saint Alban (3rd century AD) was a Roman soldier venerated as the first Christian martyr in Briton. He was a pagan Romano-Britain living in the town of Verulamium (now St. Albans) who was scourged and beheaded around 300 AD. for sheltering and giving a change of clothes for a fugitive Christian priest. His feast day is 22nd June. Early records mention Mary Alben, baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1664. Benign Albin and Louisa Charlier were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1786.
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, coats 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. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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