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Gledson Coat of Arms / Gledson Family Crest

The surname of GLEDSON was a locational name 'of Gledhill' a small spot in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was originally derived from the Old English word GLEODA, literally meaning the dweller on the steep hills, and the name arrived in England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The name was taken into Ireland by early settlers. The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during and in the wake of the Invasion of 1066, are nearly all territorial in origin. The followers of William the Conqueror were a pretty mixed lot, and while some of them brought the names of their castles and villages in Normandy with them, many were adventurers of different nationalities attached to William's standard by the hope of plunder, and possessing no family or territorial names of their own. Those of them who acquired lands in England were called by their manors, while others took the name of the offices they held or the military titles given to them, and sometimes, a younger son of a Norman landowner, on receiving a grant of land in his new home dropped his paternal name and adopted that of his newly acquired property. Early records of the name mention Gledsonne (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086 and Thomas Gleadle appears in County Yorkshire in 1273. Edward Gladson was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Ricardus Gledson of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name is also spelt Gleadhill. 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according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans.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.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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