During the Middle Ages surnames were first used in order to distinguish between numbers of people bearing the same christian name. As taxation, under William The Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066, became the law, documentation became essential, and names were chosen from a man's trade, his father's name, some personal physical characteristic, or from his place of residence. In the case of the name HORRIDGE it was a locational name from HORWICH a chapelry in the parish of Dean, County Lancashire. The name was originally rendered in the Old English form HARANWICH, literally meaning the dweller at the witch-elm trees. The earliest of the name on record appears to be HOREWYCH (without surname) who was recorded in Lancashire in the year 1254. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. Later instances of the name mention Nicholas de HORWICH, who was listed in the Preston Guild Rolls of 1397. Anthony HORRIDGE, registered at Oxford University in the year 1613, and James HORWICH of Over Darwen, Cheshire, was listed in the Wills at Chester in the year 1632. 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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