The surname of OLDER was a locational name 'local at the alder tree', from residence thereby. The name was derived from the Old English ALOR. The Norman Conquest in the year of 1066 revolutionized our personal nomenclature. The old English name system was gradually broken up and old English names became less common and were replaced by new names from the continent. Most of the early documents deal with the upper classes who realised that an additional name added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Names of peasants rarely occurred in medieval documents.
Early records of the name mention Ralph de Alre of the County of Berkshire in 1221. Alexander Aldres of Wales in 1332. Thomas in the Alren of the County of Somerset, in the time of Edward III (1327-1377). Isaacke, son of Henry Alders, was buried at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1605. Elizabeth Alder was baptised at St. Thomas the Apostle, London in 1743. The coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. 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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