This name MAHOOD was derived from the old Norman Mont Hault, meaning of the high mount. The Monte Altos first settled in Wales, where Mold is a much reduced form of their territorial name.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.
The first of the family in Scotland was Robert de Montealto, who appears in the reign of David 1. and is understood to have come from Wales. The family early rose to power and position in their new home, and in the reign of William the Lion, they had acquired lands in Angus, including the lordship of Ferne. Early records also include William de Monte Alto, documented in Arbroath in 1219.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Registerd in County Aberdeen.
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