The surname of DYAR was derived from the Old English word 'daegere' an occupational name 'a dyer of cloth' one who yielded dyes from plants and weeds. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. Early records of the name mention Henry de Deghar 1273 County Somerset. Robert le Deyare, was documented in the year 1275 in Surrey. Richard le Dyer of Kiderminster was the rector of Fincham, County Norfolk in the year 1333. Ricardus Dier of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Dyer, burgess of Aberdeen in 1436. Buried. Philip Dier, at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1625. 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. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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