This surname of PLUMP was a topographic name for someone who lived by a plum tree. The name was originally rendered in the Old English form PLUME, and written in medieval documents in the Latin form PRUNA. The name has travelled widely in many forms which include PLUM, PFLAUM, PLUME, FLAUMENBOIM, PRUNE, PFIMLIN and PLUMEKE. 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. During the 17th century surnames were brought to Britain, North America and southern Africa by French Huguenot exiles. The Huguenots were French Protestants, and in 1572 large numbers of them were massacred in Paris on the orders of Queen Catherine de'Medici. Many of the survivors sought refuge in England and elsewhere. Although the Edict of Nantes (1598) officially guaranteed religious toleration, persecution continued, and the Edict was revoked by Louis XIV in 1685. It was then the trickle of emigration became a flood. Many migrated to England, while others joined groups of Dutch Protestants settling around the Cape of Good Hope. Others sailed across the Atlantic to establish themselves in North America. William de Plumptre was mentioned in documents of the year 1330, and again in 1345, and is the ancestor of a family associated for centuries with County Nottinghamshire. Their name is derived from the village of Plumptre in the county, now spelt as Plumtree. 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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