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Errett Coat of Arms / Errett Family Crest

The surname of ERRETT was derived from the Old English word 'Eadraed' an ancient personal name meaning 'prosperity-guard'. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. After the Crusades in Europe, in the 11th 12th and 13th century people began, perhaps unconsciously, to feel the need of a family name, or at least a name in addition to the simple one that had been possessed from birth. The nobles and upper classes, especially those who went on the Crusades, observed the prestige and practical value of an added name, and were quick to take a surname. Early records of the name mention Aedricus Edricus, listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Gamel filius Edredid was recorded in 1131 in County Durham, and Edredus Cuiperius appears in Berkshire in 1220. William Edrige of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). 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. 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 name is also spelt Erratt and Erret.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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