The surname of HORT was derived from the Old English HARTE - a nickname for one with the speed of a stag. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. Early records of the name mention John le Hert of the County of Kent in 1273. Richard le Hert of London was documented in the year 1300. Amicia le Hurt, 1273 County Oxford. Johannes Hert of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll tax of 1379. Thomas le Hert was bailiff of Norwich in the year 1390. Agnes Hart was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1599. John Harte and Johanna Kirbye were married in London in 1578. Agnes, daughter of Henrie Hart was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1599. Francis Bret Harte (1836-1902) was an American writer of short stories and humorous verse. The name was taken early to Scotland, and John Hart was the bailie of the burgh of Canongate, Edinburgh in 1561, John Hairt was the king's messenger in Scotland in 1570. A family of this name were burgesses of Edinburgh, and Edward sat for the Parliament in 1586, and his brother Andrew was the printer for the King. 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 in 1884.
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