The surname of WOLF was derived from the Old French word 'wulf' a nickname for one with the characteristics of a wolf. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066, and became a popular font name during the 11th and 12th centuries. The name has many variant spellings which include WOLFF, WOLFE, WULFE, WULF and WOOLFE. Early records of the name mention Robert Wulf of London, who was documented in the year 1166. John le Wlf (with this spelling) was recorded in County Sussex in 1273. Adam le Wolf of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Wulph of County Wiltshire, registered at Oxford University in 1586. James Wolfe (1727-1759). English General; commanded the British Forces at the seige of Quebec in which he was killed. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on 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 flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people.
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