The surname of CATLIN was a baptismal name 'the son of Catherine'. The name is of obscure origin and etymology, being first attested in the form Aikaterina, but later, affected by folk etymological associations with the Greek word KATHAROS, meaning pure. The name was borne by numerous early Christian saints, and was popular throughout the Middle Ages. Early records of the name mention Elias Katelin, 1273 County Cambridge. Johannes Cattelynson of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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. A later instance of the name mentions John Catlin who married Susanna Hayes at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1788. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. (Lord chief Justice during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603).
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