The surname of ELPHICK was a ancient Norman personal name, derived from the Old English Aelfec. The name was sometimes bestowed in honour of St. Alphege (954-1012), the archbishop of Canterbury, who was stoned to death by the Danes, and came to be revered as a martyr. Early records of the name mention Alfge (without surname) documented in the Domesday Book of 1086, in County Hampshire. Family names are a fashion we have inherited from the times of the Crusades in Europe, when knights identified one another by adding their place of birth to their first or Christian names. With so many knights, this was a very practical step. In the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries the nobles and upper classes, particularly those descended from the knights of the Crusades, recognised the prestige an extra name afforded them, and added the surname to the simple name given to them at birth. Other records of the name mention John Aynscombe and Susanna Elfecke (widow) who were married in London in the year 1580, and Margaret Elphick of Preston, was listed in the Wills at Chester in the year 1621. Robert Elphicke was recorded in the parish records of St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1656. John Ellthicke and Mary Atkins were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1667. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.
The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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