The surname of HALLS was a locational name 'the dweller at the hall' from residence at a large estate or manor house. Early records of the name mention Roger de la Halle, 1273, County Cambridge. William atte Halle was documented in County Somerset, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Willelmus atte Halle of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas del Hall was recorded in County Cumberland in the year 1400. John de Hall was a witness in Glasgow in 1454. Allane of Hall was burgess of Prestwick in 1470 David Hall (1714-1772) born in Edinburgh, became partner with Benjamin Franklyn in the printing business. This English surname, which ranks among the twenty commonest in England, is found predominantly in Ulster, but also in considerable numbers in Leinster and Munster, although rare in Connacht. It was brought to Munster by settlers as early as the 14th century, but came to Ulster with the 17th century planters. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames: they came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places 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.
This surname is one of the commonest and most widely distributed of English surname, bearing witness to the importance of the hall as a feature of the medieval village. 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.
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