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Westington Coat of Arms / Westington Family Crest

Westington Coat of Arms / Westington Family Crest

During the Middle Ages surnames were first used in order to distinguish between numbers of people bearing the same christian name. As taxation, under William The Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066, became the law, documentation became essential, and names were chosen from a man's trade, his father's name, some personal physical characteristic, or from his place of residence. In the case of the name WESTINGTON it was a locational name meaning 'the man that lived at the west of the town or village'. The earliest of the name on record appears to be De WESTENTOUNE, who was documented in the year 1296, and Ralph BIWESTETOUN appears in Cornwall in 1327. William WESTETOWN was documented in 1332 in County Sussex. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. A later instance of the names mentions Symon WESTINTUN of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour. Throughout all of Europe the wolf was one of the animals most revered in medieval times. Lycanthropy, the transformation of men into wolves, was widely believed in during the middle ages and also used often.


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last updated on: September 13 2018

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