This surname FLESCH was originally derived from the Old German word 'FLAESC' meaning flesh, the name was a derivative of the word HEAWAN 'to cut' - a butcher. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. Early records of the name in England mention Richard le Fleshewere of the County of Yorkshire in 1268. Miles Flesher in 1273. Robert Flesher of the County of Yorkshire in 1327. John Flescher was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Flesshour of the County of Yorkshire in 1453. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France 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.
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