The surname of BLACKHALL was from the lands of Blackhall in the regality of Garioch, Aberdeenshire. William de Bakchall, who appears on a jury of inquest, in the year 1398, is apparently the first of the name recorded. William Blakhall succeeded his father William Blakhall as coroner and forester in the regality of Gareoche in 1547. Early in the 17th century the family fell into decay and their lands were acquired by the Burnetts who had intermarried with them.
The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Arms recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. (that Ilk. County Aberdeen).
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