The surname of BURLETSON was a baptismal name 'the son of Bartholomew' from the nickname Bartle. In this case Bartletson has become corrupted to Burletson. The name was long confined to County Durham and South Northumberland, but has now reached London. As a given name in Christian Europe, this name derives its popularity from the apostle St. Bartholomew, the patron saint of tanners, vintners and butlers, about whom virtually nothing is known. Early records of the name mention William Byrtletson, who was documented in County York in the year 1273. Robert Burletson appears in Yorkshire in 1303. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. Family names are a fashion we have inherited from the times of the Crusades in Europe, when knights identified one another by adding their place of birth to their first or Christian names. With so many knights, this was a very practical step. In the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries the nobles and upper classes, particularly those descended from the knights of the Crusades, recognised the prestige an extra name afforded them, and added the surname to the simple name given to them at birth. Later instances of the name mention Stephen, son of Mathew Burlesone who was baptised at St. Mary, Aldermary, London in 1627. 'Her Majesty and the Princess were received on alighting (at Windsor) by Mr Burlinson, traffic manager' was written in the Standard, April 29th in 1889. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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