The surname of EPPES was a baptismal name 'the son of Ebbes' an ancient although now forgotten font name. 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. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God, however much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization. Early records mention Henry Ebison, County York, 1273. Thomas Ebson of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Eppes, Mayor of New Romsey in 1584. Edward Powell and Eliza Ebbes were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1607. George Granger and Eliza Eppison were married at the same church in 1660. The name is also spelt Ebbs, Eppson, Epperson and Epp. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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