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. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. HERBIT was a baptismal name 'the son of Herbert'. Saint Haribert was the archbishop of Cologne circa. 1000, and at that time the name became extremely common amongst the French nobility. A Norman settler brought the name into England at the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention Herberus (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Johannes Herberti was documented in County Norfolk in the year 1230. John Herbertson married Anne Bettridge at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1768. George Herbert (1593-1633) English clergyman, author of 'The Temple' a collection of poems of a religious character. A branch of the family was established in Ireland, descended from Thomas Herbert of Montgomery, a nephew of the 1st Earl of Pembroke. He settled in Ireland in 1656 and became High Sheriff of County Kerry in 1659.
A family by the name Fitzherbert who hold the title Baron Stafford trace their descent from William, son of Herbert who was granted the manor of Norbury, County Derbyshire in 1125 and was the first to use the surname.
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.
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