Goldsworthy Coat of Arms / Goldsworthy Family Crest
This surname GOLDSWORTHY was of the locational group of surnames 'of Galsworthy' a spot in County Devon. The name was derived from the Old English word GOLDESWORTHE. During the middle ages it was customary for a man to be named after the village where he lived, or from the land that he owned. This name would identify his whole family, and followed them wherever they moved. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Early records of the name mention GALESWORTH (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. William Galesworthe of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Thomas Gallysworth of Yorkshire appeared in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at the College of Arms in May 1779. (Goldsworthy). It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Most of the European surnames 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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