The surname of TEMPLETON was a locational name 'of Templeton' a parish in County Devon, five miles from Tiverton. The surname is also found in the shires of Ayr and Lanark, and probably derived from a small spot called Templeton near Dunonald, Ayrshire. There are also places of the name in Wales, Berkshire, and Devon so called, but these do not seem to be the source of the surnames. Local names find their origins in the villages, towns and areas where people were born, or from the land they owned. In the Middle Ages, a man was identified by his place of birth and almost every city, town and village existing in medieval times has originated one or more family names. Anyone leaving his birthplace would be known to new friends and neighbours by the name of his former residence, his birthplace, or the land he owned. Gilberus de Tempilton, rector of the church of Rothir, appears to be the first of the name recorded in Scotland in the year 1295. Gilbert de Templeton of the county of Ayr appears in 1296, and Jacobus de Templetone held lands in Ayrshire in the reign of Robert the Bruce. David Tempiltone was sergeant of the burgh of Irvine in 1499. In England James Templeton married Elizabeth Lobb at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1764. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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