The surname of LATINA was an occupational name 'the latimer' - an interpreter; a speaker of Latin, derived from the Old French Latinier. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The name is also spelt LATIMER, LATTIMER, LATNER, LATURNER, LATINIER and LATIMIER. The name LATIMER is found in Yorkshire, England from the 13th century. Early bearers of the name include William le LATIMER (died 1268) of Scampston, and his descendant Thomas de LATIMER (born about 1270) who was made a baron in 1299. Another family of this name is recorded in Billinges, Yorkshire, from the 12th century onwards. The manor of the town in Buckinghamshire, now known as LATIMER was acquired by a certain William LATIMER in 1330. The place took its name from his family name, previously it was called ISENHAMPSTEDE. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. A notable member of the name was Brunetto LATINI (circa. 1210-1295) the Florentine writer and statesman. A member of the Guelf party, he was exiled to France from 1260 until 1266, and there he wrote the encyclopaedic 'Li Livres dou Tresor'.
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