The surname of WATERHOUSE which is chiefly a Yorkshire, Lancashire and Midlands surname was topographic for someone who lived in a house by a stretch of water, or possibly a moated house. Adam del Waterhous who appears in the year 1308 in Wakefield, Yorkshire, appears to be the first of the name on record. Families acquired a place name as a surname under three different sets of circumstances. Either the man lived or worked in, on or near some topographic formation or landscape feature, either natural or artificial or he formerly lived in a village, town or city and acquired the reputation of being from that place. Finally he owned or was lord of the village or manor designated. In the overwhelming majority of cases it is impossible to say whether a remote ancestor owned the manor or had merely once lived in that place. However, it is safe to say that in most cases a manor or village name merely identifies the place where the original bearer of the name formerly resided. Later instances of the name mention Henry Waterhouse of County Berkshire, who registered at Oxford University in the year 1585, and Edward Waterhouse of Sussex, enroled there in 1591. Thomas Waterhowse wed Marian Kirbie at St. Mary Aldermary, London in the year 1567, and Stephen Waterhouse and Elizabeth Cod were married in Canterbury, Kent in 1666. A notable member of the name was Alfred Waterhouse (1830-1905) the English architect, born in Liverpool. He was a leader of Gothic revival, designing Manchester town hall and assize courts. He was the designer of the Natural History Museum in London (1873-81). John William Waterhouse (1847-1917) was the English painter born in Rome. Among his paintings are 'Ulysses and the Sirens' (1892) and 'The Lady of Shalott' (1894). It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. 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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