The surname of ONKEN was a baptismal name 'the son of Arnketel' an ancient although now long forgotten personal name. The name is also spelt HANKIN, HANKEN, ANKEN, ANKINS, ANNAKIN and ANNIKIN. HANCHETIN (without surname) who was documented in the year 1200 in London, appears to be the first of the name on record, and Anketin (without surname) was recorded in 1219. This Norman name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Other records of the name mention Anketel le Mercer, 1273, London. Roger Anketyl was documented in County Somerset during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first 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. The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during the Invasion of 1066 were of three kinds. There were names of Norse origin which their ancestors had carried into Normandy; names of Germanic origin which the Frankish conquerors had brought across the Rhine and which had ousted the old Celtic and Latin names from France, and Biblical names and names of Latin and Greek saints. These names they retained even after the customs and language of the natives of Northern France had been adopted by them. After the Norman Conquest not only Normans, but Frenchmen and Bretons from other parts of France settled in England, and quite a few found their way north into Scotland.
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