This French surname of PARADIS was of the locational group of surnames meaning 'of Paradise'. In the Middle Ages it was common to call a pretty spot 'a perfect paradise'. The name was originally of French origin, brought into England and Ireland by settlers. The name is also spelt PARADICE and PARADISE. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. The earliest of the name on record appears to be John de PARADYSHOW, who was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Edward PARADIS of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name include Rychard PARADYSE and Elizabeth Savage, who were married at St. Dionis, Backchurch, London in the year 1564, and John PARADISE was recorded in Broad Chalk, County Wiltshire in 1622. Thomas PARADISE was the vicar of All Saints, Bristol in 1663. George PARADICE and Elizabeth Guppy were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1791. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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