The surname of THURLEY was a locational name 'of Thurleigh' a spot in County Bedfordshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Thurley (without surname) 1316 County Kent. William Thorleye of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert Thurley married Elizabeth Smith in London in the year 1567. William Jackson married Elizabeth Thurley at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1794. 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 11 (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people.
Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared) and Edward 1. was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs.
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