The surname of GUMBRELL was a baptismal name 'the son of Grimbold' an ancient although long forgotten personal name. After the Crusades in Europe, in the 11th 12th and 13th century people began, perhaps unconsciously, to feel the need of a family name, or at least a name in addition to the simple one that had been possessed from birth. The nobles and upper classes, especially those who went on the Crusades, observed the prestige and practical value of an added name, and were quick to take a surname. The name was originally derived from the Old Norman GUMBALD, meaning battle, bold and brave, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The acquisition of surnames in Europe and England, during the last eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in cultures and traditions. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. Early records of the name mention Durandus Gumboldus who was recorded in the year 1148 in Hampshire, and William Gumbald was documented in the year 1216 in County Suffolk. John Grimbald who was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Richard Grimbaud, ibid. Thomas Gumbrell of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
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