The surname VIGEON was a baptismal name 'the son of Vyvyan'. It was the name of the enchantress of King Arthur's Court, and for that reason became a favourite font name in early times. The earliest of the name on record was one Johannes filius Viuian who appears in the year 1175 in County Kent. Vivianus de Cattele was recorded in London in the year 1200, and Fidgeon (without surname) appears in 1203 in County Essex. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function of 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.
Other records of the name mention Vivianus Gernet, County Lancashire who was documented during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272) and Viviana filius Clementi, was recorded during the reign of Edward II (1307-1327). Humphrey Vivian, County Merioneth, registered at Oxford University in the year 1586. Michael Vivian of County Cornwall, registered at the same University in the year 1593. 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.
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