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Gallet Coat of Arms / Gallet Family Crest

Gallet Coat of Arms / Gallet Family Crest

This surname of GALLET was a French nickname for a cheerful or roisterous person, introduced into England by the Normans during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066 in the form GALLON. It was also an occupational name for a jailer, or a topographic name for someone who lived near the local jail. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form CAVEA. The name has numerous variant spellings which include GAIL, GAYLE, GALLON, GAILLET, GALLETT, GAILLOT and GALICHET, to name but a few. French, or rather Norman French, was the language of the aristocracy and the upper classes in England at the time fixed surnames were being developed, it is therefore not surprising that many of our well-known family names are derived from French words. Originally only Christian or personal names were used, and although a few came into being during the 10th century, surnames were not widely used until much later, when people began to realize the prestige of having a second name. Early records of the name mention Fuloc GALYON, who was recorded in the year 1273 in County Cambridge and William GALET was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) in County Somerset. Henry GALON and Susanna Buss were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1771. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. 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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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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