The surname of WAKER was a nickname 'the wake' the vigilant and watchful person. 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 II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Early records of the name mention John Wake, 1273, County Lincolnshire. Baldwin de Wake of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. George Wake and Elizabeth Sherman were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1687. The name was taken to Scotland and Johannes de Wak held the land of Kirkandris in the sheriffdom of Dumfries in the early years of the 14th century. Other instances of the name include Steven Wake who was the burgess of Edinburgh in 1405 and John Waik was presbyter of the diocese of St Andrews in 1475. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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