The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Granted to James HORSFALL of Birmingham on the 19th June 1861. This surname of HORSFALL was of the locational group of surnames meaning 'one who dwelt at the horsefall' a deep vale between two mountains. The surname has spread far and wide in counties York and Lancaster, but the spot itself appears to be in the old parish of Halifax. The earliest of the name on record was Ricardus del HORSEFALL of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Johannes HORSFALL appears in the same document. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. Later instances of the name include Ellen HORSFALL of Lancaster, who was listed in the Lancashire Wills at Richmond in 1661, and Thomas HORSFALL married Ann Newman at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1796. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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