This surname SOMERVILLE was a locational name 'of Somerville', place name in Staffordshire and also from Aston Somerville in County Gloucestershire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was originally brought into England during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Early records of the name mention Adam de Somervila who was recorded in 1153 in County Oxford and he appears to be the first of the name on record. William de Summeruill was documented in County Yorkshire in 1158. Other records of the name mention Jacobus de Somerwill of the County of Devon in 1273. Roger de Somerville of the County of Staffordshire in 1300. Christopher Grainger and Mary Somervell were married at Westminster in 1639-40. Edward Sommervill and Mary Beaufoy were married at Canterbury in 1669. The surname was brought to Scotland in the 12th century by William de Somerville, a retainer of David, Earl of Huntingdon, brother of King Alexander I of Scotland. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker.
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