The surname of GUNDREY was a baptismal name 'the son of Gundred or Grundy' a once common but now forgotten font name. The name was brought into England during the wake of the Norman Invasion, and meant battle-ruler. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognised by those of noble birth, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was purely a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Early records of the name mention Gundrea (without surname) 1138, County Leicestershire. William Gundrey of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Gundreda Giffard of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Nathaniel Gundry and Julia Maria Palmer were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1775. The name has many variant spellings which include Gunderson, Goundry and Grundy. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name.
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