The surname of LAYZELL was a locational name 'of de Lascelles' a place in the arrondissement of Alencon in Normandy, France.
Local names usually denoted where a man held land. Surnames before the Norman Conquest of 1066 were rare in England having been brought by the Normans when William the Conqueror invaded the shores. The practice spread to Scotland and Ireland by the 12th century, and in Wales they appeared as late as the 16th century. Most surnames can be traced to one of four sources, locational, from the occupation of the original bearer, nicknames or simply font names based on the first name of the parent being given as the second name to their child. A number of bearers of this name found in the 12th and 13th centuries in northern England have a common ancestor in Picot de Lascelles, a vassal of the count of Brittany, living circa. 1080. Roger de Lascelles held land in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in 1130. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. 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 flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. Other records of the name mention William de Lassell, County Lincolnshire, during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Francis Lassels of Richmond, registered at Oxford University in 1574. Cuthbert Wytham married Lucy Lassel in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1665. A later member of the family was Edward Lascelles (1740-1820) created the Earl of Harewood in 1812.
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