The surname of GEDDES was a locational name 'of Geddes' a spot in County Yorkshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name is also spelt GEDDEIS, GEDD, GEDES and GEYDUS. Early records of the name mention Herbert Gidi, 1115, County Hampshire. The name was also of territorial origin, from the lands of Geddes in Nairnshire, which were in the possession of the family of Rose, before they obtained Kilravock. Master Matthew of Geddes, a churchman, was granted a safe conduct to travel into England in the year 1405. Alexander Geddes (1737-1802) was the Scottish biblical scholar, born in Rathven parish, Banff. Educated for the priesthood at Paris (1758-64). In 1769 he took a cure of souls at Auchinhalrig, Banff, where his sympathy with local Protestants led to his dismissal (1780). Going to London, he made a new translation of the Bible for English Catholics (1792-1800). Andrew Geddes (1783-1844) was the Scottish painter and etcher, born in Edinburgh. He worked with his father in the Excise office, but in 1806 went to London to study painting as a fellow pupil of Sir David Wilkie. He worked in London for most of his life. Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. The first mention of such names appears in the Domesday Book and they were progressively adopted between the 11th and 15th centuries. It was the nobles and upper classes who first assumed a second name, setting them apart from the common people who continued to use only the single name given to them at birth. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that it became common practice to use a secondary name, originally a name reflecting the place of birth, a nickname, an occupational name or a baptismal name which had been passed on from a parent to the child, as an additional means of identification. 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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