The surname of CALLUM is the curtailed form of MacCallum, meaning 'the son of the gillie of Callum '. Early records of the name mention Gilbert MacCalme, a merchant of Ayr in 1631. Iain McCalum was documented at Dunaverty in 1647. Archibald M'Callome was minister as Glassory in 1661 and Zacharie M'Callan was mentioned in 1650. Donald McCallum was a charter witness in 1659. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. 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. Other records of the name mention Duncan Glass M'Callum who was charged with cattle-lifting in the regality of Lennox in 1687. John McHallom appears in the parish of Kirkinner in the year 1684, and John Mahallum was recorded in Barmore, in the parish of Kirkcowan in the same year. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. 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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