The surname of VEATCH is of Scottish origin. About the year 1200 Radulphus Uacca, witnessed a charter in Peeblesshire. William la Wache was recorded in 1296. The family appear to have obtained Dawick in the 15th century, and William the Wache appears frequently before the Lords of Council and Lord Auditors of Parliament between 1474 and 1494. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. The name is also spelt VEITCH, VETCH, VIETCH and VEATCHE. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. Notables of the name include William VEITCH (1794-1885) the Scottish classical scholar, born near Jedburgh. He qualified for the Scottish ministery, but devoted himself to a life of scholarship at Edinburgh. His chief work was 'Greek Verbs Irregular and Defective' (1848). John VEITCH (1829-94) was the Scottish poet and scholar, born in Peebles, the son of a Peninsular War veteran. He studied at Edinburgh. In 1856 he was appointed assistant professor of logic and metaphysics at Edinburgh, and in 1860 was appointed professor at St. Andrews. His critical work includes 'History and Poetry of the Scottish border' (1877) and 'The Feeling for Nature in Scottish Poetry' (1877). Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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