The surname of CONDY was of the occupational group of surnames meaning 'the conder', one who signals to boats from a height, the direction taken by shoals of herring or pilchards. Conders at the fishing times have been used to watch and attend upon the high hills and ground near and adjoining to the sea coast, for the giving of notice to the fishermen. The name was originally in the French form of CONDUIT, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. The first mention of such names appears in the Domesday Book and they were progressively adopted between the 11th and 15th centuries. It was the nobles and upper classes who first assumed a second name, setting them apart from the common people who continued to use only the single name given to them at birth. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that is became common practice to use a secondary name, originally a name reflecting the place of birth, a nickname, an occupational name or a baptismal name which had been passed on from a parent to the child, as an additional means of identification.
Early records of the name mention Robert atte Conduyt who appears in 1334, and William atte Conduit was documented in 1340 in County Norfolk. Walter atte Condut appears in 1342. Later instances of the name mention Francis, sonne of Francis Condor, was baptised at Canterbury Cathedral in 1658. Samuel Conder and Esther Carpenter were married at St. Mary Aldermary, London in 1714.
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.
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