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Glassford Coat of Arms / Glassford Family Crest

Glassford Coat of Arms / Glassford Family Crest

The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Douglastoun in 1769. Late in the thirteenth century the lands of GLASFORDE in Strathaven, Lanarkshire, were in possession of a family who took their name from the lands. Alexander de GLASFRITH was escheator south of the Ford in the English service in 1289, and Roger de GLASFORD witnessed a charter in 1296. Master Andrew de GLASFRITH was appointed sequestrator of the provostry of St. Mary's in St. Andrews in 1306, and Alan de GLASFURTH witnessed a grant of the church of Largys to the monks of Paisley in 1317. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. Later instances of the name include Willelmus de GLASFURD, who witnessed a notarial instrument in 1413, and John GLASFUIRD was the heir of John Duncane in 1636. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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