The surname of DEPRIEST was an official name 'the priest' a man of the cloth. The name was derived from the Old Latin PRESBYTER (an elder, a counsellor) and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. It may also have been an occupational name for someone in the service of a priest, and occasionally it may have been used to denote someone suspected of being the son of a priest. Early records of the name mention John le Prest, who was documented in County Essex in the year 1185. Baldwin Rodbert Prest was documented in London in 1238. Roger le Prest appears in County Wiltshire in 1273 and Adam Prest et Magota uxor ejus was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances of the name mention a certain Thomas Priest who married Charlotte Yerbury at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1799. 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 name was found early in Scotland, and John Prest of Peebles, a Scottish prisoner of war, was held in the Castle of High Peak in 1306. William Preist was recorded as a shoemaker in Ratanach in 1703, and Andrew Priest from Turriff was killed in the first Great War. 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. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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