The surname of EXON was a locational name 'of Exton' a parish in County Rutland, five miles from Oakham, a parish in County Somerset and a parish in Hampshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Most of the place-names that yield surnames are usually of small communities, villages, hamlets, some so insignificant that they are now lost to the map. A place-name, it is reasonable to suppose, was a useful surname only when a man moved from his place of origin to elsewhere, and his new neighbours bestowed it, or he himself adopted it. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Early records of the name mention Alexander de Exton who was recorded in the County of Devon in the year 1273. Gervase de Exton was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Edward Exton of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax in 1379. A later instance of the name includes a William Berry who married Amys Exton at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1770. Arms recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Granted to the Lord Mayor of London in 1386. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
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