This Scottish surname of BASSINDALE is a locational name from Bassendean, an ancient parish now incorporated in the parish of Westruther, Berwickshire. The land of John de Bassyndene in the burgh of Haddington is mentioned in l458 and in l529 there is record of the purchase of brown camlet from James Bassentyne. James Bassantin (died l568) astronomer, was son of the laird of Bassendean, and Thomas Bassandyne was printer of the first Bible printed in Scotland l576-l579. The name is of frequent occurrence in the Edinburgh Marriage Records of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as BASSANDYNE, BASSENDEN, BASSENDYNE, BASSINDEAN and BASSINDEN. 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.
In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies.
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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021
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