The surname of BASTON was a baptismal name 'the son of Sebastian'. The name was originally rendered in the Latin form Sebastianus, originally an ethnic name meaning 'man from Sebastia' a city in Pontus named from the Greek Sebastos (revered). The name was borne by a 3rd century martyr who became the patron saint of Nuremberg, hence the popularity of the name in Germany. The name was in early use in Cornwall and south-west England, where Spanish influence would have prevailed. Early records of the name mention William, son of Bastian Trevithan, who was baptised at St. Columb Major, Cornwall in the year 1599. William Bastian, registered at Oxford University in the year 1796. Bastien Chevrey married Joanna Gale at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1796. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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