This Scottish surname of GRASSICK was derived from the Gaelic 'GREUSAICH or GRIASAICH' meaning a shoemaker. The term meant a decorator or embroiderer, a maker of specialized shoes. The name is familiar to Aberdeenshire. Other spellings of the name include GRASS, GRASSIE, GRACEY, GRAISICH, GRASSEICH, GRECIE and GRESICH. This was an important occupation in the life of medieval Europe, and in the cities the craftsmen were restricted by guild laws. Shoemakers who made shoes, were often forbidden to mend them. This deliberate policy of protection for their members allowed only those members to fulfill their craft. The name may also have applied to someone who shod horses, the practice of nailing iron plates or rim shoes to the hoofs of horses was in regular use during the Middle Ages. Early records of the name include Donald GRASYCHT, who was recorded in Lochalsh in 1548, and Elspet GRASSICHE appears in Tullochaspak in 1612. Alexander GREOSCHICH in Towie was accused of curing cattle by charming in 1669 and Alexander GRESHACH was recorded in Strathdone in 1686. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. 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. The lion depicted in the arms and crest is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour. The arms depicted here are the arms of GRASS.
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