This surname of ALVIES was a baptismal name 'the son of Alvise'. The name was derived from the Old word 'Aeoelwig' literally meaning 'noble war'. Early records of the name mention Ailvis (without surname) who was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Willelmus filius Ailwi appears in 1206 in Northumberland. Peter Athelwy appears in the year 1302 in County Suffolk. 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. Later instances of the name mention Edward Hewlinge and Elizabeth Alvis who married in London in 1616. William Maslen married Mary Allaway, St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1788. James Alvis married Barbara Pittett, 1786, ibid. The name is also spelt ALVEY, ALLOWAY and ALLAWAY. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but they 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-l327) that it became common practice for all people. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. 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. 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.
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