The surname of BROOKING was a locational name 'the dweller beside the meadow with a brook' The name originates from County Devon. Early records of the name mention Robert le BROCKYN who was documented in the year 1273 and Edward BROCKYN of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. Place names as family names come from many different centuries and many different countries. They come from places where the original holder of the name lived or had once lived. They indicate the precise locality in whatever way made most sense to other people at the time. In fact very often this kind of name was given to people by their contemporaries, sometimes as nicknames which just stuck. For example if people were living in a foreign country others often called them by the name of their country of origin. Or if they were living in an area of their own country populated by others of a different ethnic origin they may have been called a name which indicated that. If people - whether in their own country or not - were living in a different County, City, Town or Village than the one from which they came (or were thought to have come!) they have often been called by a name to indicate their real or supposed place of origin. And even within a small village or country parish the name of a farm where they lived or of a hill or river or other landmark near their home has often been used to distinguish one person from another especially when personal names (such as Saints names) were very common and weren't enough to clearly identify one individual. 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.
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