The surname of CROW was derived from the Old English word 'crawe'. Early records of the name mention Ailwin Crawe, who was documented in 1188 in County Norfolk. Nicholas Crowe was documented in Wales in the year 1187. Ralph Crawe, was recorded in the year 1273 in County Norfolk. Adam Croe of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Crawe was vicar of Wigenhale, St. Peter, County Norfolk in 1431. John Crowe and Christian Dodo were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1794. The name was taken to Ireland by settlers, where the name in Gaelic is rendered as Mac Conchradha. In Ulster the families so named are mainly from England. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000.
The name is also spelt Crawe and Crowe. 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 flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day. 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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