CHURCHILL was a locational name 'of Churchill' parishes in the diocese of Bath and Wells, Gloucester, Bristol, Oxford and Worcester. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage it would add to their status. Early records of the name mention Richard de Churchills, 1273, County Somerset. Nicholas de Churchull was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Cornelius Allen and Ann Churchill were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1751.The most eminent of the name was Sir Winston Leonard Spencer CHURCHILL (1874-1965) English statesman, born at Bleinheim Palace, Oxfordshire. He was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst. In 1900 he became Conservative MP for Oldham, but his differences with the party widened and he joined the Liberals in 1906. He became Home Secretary in 1910. In May 1940, he formed a Coalition government. He achieved a world-wide reputation as an all-seeing strategist and inspiring war-leader. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that 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.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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