This surname of WATERMAN was an English and Flemish/Dutch occupational name for a boatman or water-carrier. The name was also given to one who lived by a stretch of water. The name is also spelt WASSERMAN, WASSERMANN and WATERMANN. For long periods of history, the northern part of Belgium was administratively united with the Netherlands. The Flemish language, spoken in northern Belgium, is very closely related to Dutch, and its surnames are often identical or nearly identical to Dutch. The name was brought into England from the continent during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Geoffrey Walterman, who was documented in 1273 in County Sussex. Walterus Nelesthorpe of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Thomas Watman occurs in the same Tax record. 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. Later instances of the name mention Peter Weterman, who registered at Oxford University in the year 1613, and Ann, wife of Hugh Waterman was buried at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1655. Joseph Bull and Anne Waterman were married at St. Mary, London in 1729. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in County Devon. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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