The surname of EPTON was a locational name 'of Eppleton' a spot in County Durham. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was derived from the Old English word 'Aeplen' and literally meant the dweller where the apple trees grew.Early records of the name mention Aepplingdene (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086.The name was documented as Epplindena (without surname) in the year 1180, County Durham. Appelden (without surname) was recorded in County Yorkshire in 1196. John de Heptonstall, 1296, Wakefield, Yorkshire. Johannes de Heptone of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name is also spelt EPTON, EPTING and EPPTING.
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.The earliest English placenames were those taken over by the Anglo-Saxons from the Britons at the time of their settlement in Britain between the 5th and 6th centuries. It was after the Norman Conquest of 1066 that hereditary surnames began to be used. Many of the incoming Normans identified themselves by reference to the estates from which they had come in Northern France, and others took names from the places in England in which they settled. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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