This Scottish surname of KESSON was rendered in Gaelic in the form CESSAN, and the earliest of the name on record appears to be KESSAN filius Senane, who witnessed a confirmation charter in the year 1270. Earl Malcolm granted the lands of Blarvotch and Drumfynvoich to KESSAN Young, for the yearly rent of twenty stones of cheese, and Evgenius filus KESSANI witnessed a charter in 1308. The name is also spelt KESSEN and KESSAN. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. Later instances of the name include KESSANUS Dictus MacGhillecharrik, who was recorded in 1360, and KESSAN de Nentbolg was witness to a charter of land of Blarechos in Strathblane. George KESSANE was clerk of the diocese of Glasgow in 1562, and William KESSANE and George KESSANE were burgesses of Aur in 1562. 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. KESSANE Williamsoun was the servant to Alexander Hamilton, laird of Auchinhowy in the year 1530. 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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