The surname of SEGRAVE was a locational name 'of Seagrove' a spot in County Leicestershire. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. The name has been prominent in the Pale since the 14th century. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records mention Thomas de Segraua, 1180, County Leicestershire. William Seagrave was documented in County Notttingham in the year 1300. Edward Segrave of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name is also spelt Seagrief, Seagrove and Seagrave. 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. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings. The most notable member of this name was Sir Henry O'Neal de Hane SEGRAVE (1896-1930) American born, British racing driver, born of Irish parentage in Baltimore. He was killed in his boat 'Miss England' on Lake Windemere.
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