The surname of READ was a nickname derived from the Old English word 'rede' a nickname for one with red-hair. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The name was taken to Scotland by settlers, where in early documents the name is recorded as Reid. Early records of the name mention Leofwine si Reade, documented in 1016 in County Kent. William atte Reade was recorded in 1285, County Chester. Gilbert le Rede of Coul was committed to prison in Scotland, and died there in 1296. Godwin le Rede, 1300, was recorded in County Nottingham and James Reed was the baillie of the burgh of Stirling in the year 1364. William Rede, of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. George Warde and Denys Read, were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1568. Richard Reed of County Bedfordshire, registered at the University of Oxford in the year 1592. Edward Reed and Elizabeth Mellon were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1788 Joseph Reid (1843-1917) born in Ayrshire was the inventor of the Reid oil burner which did so much to advance the oil industry in the United States. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield or 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 flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Arms registered at London. Granted in the year 1599
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