The surname of MacEWAN was a baptismal name 'the son of Ewen' from the Gaelic MacEoghainn. The first on record in Scotland appears to be Malcolm mac Ewen who was a witness to a charter by Malcolm, second earl of Atholl of the church of Dul to St. Andrews in 1174. Early records of the name also mention Gilpatrick mac Ewen, 1219 Scotland. Patrick McEwyn was provost of Wygtoun in the year 1331. Johannes M'Eogan was cited in 1355 to give evidence regarding the lands of Glassre in Argyll. John McEroune was a merchant burgess of Glasgow in the year 1633. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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