The surname of KING was a surname of some antiquity and still met with in many parts of Scotland, Berwick, Fife and Aberdeen.
The first people in Scotland to aquire 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. The first of the name recorded in Aberdeenshire is Robertus dictus King who bequeathed to the prior and convent of St. Andrews land in that shire which was the subject of a convention in 1247, between his brother's daughter, Goda, and the prior and convent. A family of this name were in possession of barra or Barrocht in the parish of Bourtie from an early period, and in 1493, parted with a portion of the land. John Kyng was burgess of Perth in 1421. John King witnessed a sasine in 1495. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France 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. The lion is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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