The name of DURST was a locational name 'of Dorset'. The name was derived from the Old English word DURNSIET, and the earliest of the name on record appears to be DORSETT, and was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. In 1066 Duke William of Normandy conquered England. He was crowned King, and most of the lands of the English nobility were soon granted to his followers. The Domesday Book was compiled 20 years later. The Saxon Chronicle records that in 1085 'at Gloucester at midwinter, the King had deep speech with his counsellors, and sent men all over England to each shire to find out, what or how much each landowner held in land and livestock, and what it was worth. The returns were brought to him'. William was thorough. One of his Counsellors reports that he also sent a second set of Commissioners 'to shires they did not know and where they were themselves unknown, to check their predecessors' survey, and report culprits to the King'. The information was collected at Winchester, corrected, abridged, and copied by one single writer into a single volume. Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were copied, by several writers into a second volume. The whole undertaking was completed at speed, in less than 12 months. Local names usually denoted where a man held land. Other records of the name mention Alexander de Dorset, who was documented in the year 1255 in County Somerset, and Geoffrey de Dorsete, County Somerset, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Francis Dorcett and Anne Hopper were married in London in the year 1545. Ralph Dorsett appears in Yorkshire in 1602. Rober Day married Susanna Dorset at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1748. The name is also spelt DORSETT. 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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