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Vartey Coat of Arms / Vartey Family Crest

The surname of VARTEY was derived from the Old French VERITE - meaning truth. The name was originally rendered in Latin documents in the form VERITAS, and was brought into England from Normandy during the Invasion of 1066. The name may also have been acquired by one who had acted the part of the personified quality of Truth in a mystery play or pageant. The name is familiar to the Yorkshire area. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. Early records of the name mention Richard le Verite of the County of Worcestershire in 1296. Thomas Verty was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Agnes Verty of County Yorkshire was recorded in the same document. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name mention Christopher Verity and Ann Clarke who were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1745. Timothy Cahill and Eleanor Verty married in 1751, ibid.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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