This surname of JUSTUS was an English nickname for a fair-minded person, originally rendered in Latin IUSTITIA. It may well also have been an occupational name for a judge. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Eva la Justice, who was documented in County Norfolk in 1273, and Johannes Justys of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name include John Justice of London, who registered at Oxford University in 1571, and William Justice and Mary Hooker were married in London in the year 1636 (no church recorded). The associated coat of arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Knighton, County Stafford. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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