This surname of HUNTING was derived from the Old English HUNTE. An official name given to 'one who hunted'. In early charters the name was Latinized as VENATOR. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. The name has numerous variant spellings which include HUNT, HUNTE, HUNTER, HUNTINGDON and HUNTLEY. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. William Venator, who was one of the witnesses to the Inquisition of Earl David, before 1124, is apparently the first of the name to appear in Scotland. Adam Hunter was granted the hereditary office of sergeantry in all causes touching life and limb throughout the abbey land of Crauford belonging to the Abbey of Newbattle, before 1259. Aymon Hunter was the baillie of the burgh of Cullen in the year 1338. Adam le Huntere was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. An eminent member of the name was William HUNTER (1718-83) the Scottish anatomist born in Calderwood, East Kilbride. He studied divinity at Glasgow University, but eventually took up medicine. In 1764 he was appointed physician-extraordinary to Queen Charlotte Sophia. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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