The surname of MALPASS was a locational name 'of Malpass' a parish in the union of Wrexham, County Cheshire. Early records of the name mention William de Malpass, County Cheshire, 1230. David del Malpas, 1391, ibid. Rycharde Wheler and Jone Mallipez were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1556. Anthony Malpas and Jane Roberts were married at the same church in the year 1746. The family of the French writer Guy de Maupassant (1850-93) originated in Lorraine. A certain Jean-Baptiste Maupassant was an advisor to King Louis XV, and was created a member of the minor nobility in 1751. The aristocratic de was dropped at the time of the Revolution, but restored at the insistence of the writer's mother. The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came from in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that 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.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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