The surname of HARGREAVES was a locational name 'of Hargrave' parishes in the dioceses of Chester, Ely, and Peterborough. The Hargreaves of Lancashire, probably spring from Hargrave, County Chester. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. The name was originally derived from the Old English word HAREGRAUE, literally meaning the dweller at the grove of the hares. HAREGROVE (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, appears to be the first of the name on record. HARGRAVE (without surname) appears in Cheshire in the year 1150. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage it would add to their status. Other records of the name mention John de Haregrave, County Buckinghamshire, 1273. William de Haregreve was documented in East Cheshire in the year 1296. Henry Hargrevys, was recorded in County York, 1486. Ambrose Hargreves, registered at Oxford University in the year 1586. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was 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 flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms. Registered in County Lincolnshire.
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